The fluorescent yellow outfit Victoria Azarenka wore as she dismantled Caroline Wozniacki at the Australian Open yesterday was a one-word fashion statement -- loud.
A defiantly single-tone ensemble matching a skirt with a long-sleeve top, Azarenka made a huge impression on social media even before a racket was swung at Margaret Court Arena.
Though the look was polarising, Azarenka's game was anything but. The universal verdict after her 6-4 6-2 win over the eighth-seeded Dane was that the Belarusian was back, and back in a big way.
Unseeded, undercooked but under no pressure, Azarenka dictated play like a traffic cop in a high-visibility suit.
The night was not overly cool, but the long sleeves stayed on as if the former world number one had hardly raised a sweat in the 98-minute clash.
It was tempting to link Azarenka's performance with the stunning colour of her clothes and the Belarusian agreed she was out to make impressions.
"That's the key. That's the whole point, the outfit," she smiled as she spoke to reporters, wearing a still-loud pair of leggings and a 'trucker's cap' perched backwards on her head.
"I didn't take off my outfit, so the energy and intensity stayed there with the outfit. But really, that's how I play. I try to imply that intensity. I play aggressive. I think that's one of my trademarks. Not the outfit, but the intensity."
Azarenka played less than 30 matches through an injury-blighted 2014, but appears hungry for another five at Melbourne Park, where she reigned supreme in 2012 and 2013.
Controversy raged yesterday after a male television interviewer had asked seventh seed Eugenie Bouchard to showcase her dress with a 'twirl' after her second round victory on Wednesday.
The Canadian later said it was strange to be asked to do such a thing, while social and mainstream media went into overdrive with accusations of sexism
Top seed Serena Williams beat former world number two Vera Zvonareva 7-5 6-0 about 90 minutes after older sister Venus hammered American compatriot Lauren Davis 6-2 6-3. Twice Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova also advanced after a comfortable 6-2 6-4 victory over Germany's Mona Barthel.
Lleyton Hewitt refused to be drawn on his future after his 19th consecutive Australian Open appearance came to a heartbreaking end against Germany's Benjamin Becker.
Hewitt produced some inspired tennis to race through the opening two sets on Rod Laver Arena against a player who had never won a five-set match in his career.
However, the former Wimbledon champion was unable to maintain that level and Becker roared back to secure a 2-6 1-6 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory in just over three hours.
Becker's win over Andre Agassi in the third round of the US Open in 2006 prompted Agassi to retire, but the 33-year-old German said: "I hope it's not Lleyton's last match because then I get asked about it all the time."
Asked about his future plans, Hewitt - who won just one grand slam match in 2014 - said: "I'll sit down and think about it. As I've said the whole time, I haven't thought about anything."
Earlier in the day, top seed and four-time champion Novak Djokovic lost just five games as he cruised into the third round.
World number one Djokovic thrashed Russian Andrey Kuznetsov 6-0 6-1 6-4 in an hour and 24 minutes, with all three singles matches on Rod Laver Arena in the afternoon completed so quickly that a men's doubles match was hastily added to the day schedule.
Defending champion Stan Wawrinka, who ended Djokovic's 25-match unbeaten run here in the quarter-finals last year, also safely reached the last 32, but needed two hours and 16 minutes to finally subdue the resistance of Romanian qualifier Marius Copil.