Melbourne: Former world No.1s and ex-Australian Open champions Maria Sharapova of Russia and Angelique Kerber of Germany on Thursday eased past Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova and Croatia’s Donna Vekic respectively to set up an intriguing match in the third round of the Australian Open.
The 2008 champion Sharapova defeated Sevastova, who has never got past the 4th round in Melbourne, 6-1, 7-6 (7-4), reports Efe.
“You know, it’s a warm day. I did my job in two sets against someone that’s been troubling in the past for me. So third round of the Australian Open, I don’t know, I think I deserve to smile out there after that victory,” Sharapova said after the match.
She started the match in strong fashion, not offering her opponent any break points, and took both break point chances she had during an easy first set.
The second set was tighter, with both trading service games three times apiece, pushing it to a tie break.
Sharapova, who fired 30 winners compared to just six by her opponent, had the upper hand in the tiebreak, earning her second win over Sevastova in three career matches.
The five-time Grand Slam champion is set to play against Kerber, who won the Australian Open title in 2016.
Kerber needed 70 minutes to end Vekic’s best run in Melbourne 6-4, 6-1.
Despite conceding her serve once in the first set, Kerber made the most of both break points she had to clinch the first set.
The second set was much more comfortable as she held serve and took the two chances to break she presented to seal the win.