Smooth sailing for Sharapova at the Australian Open
World number two Maria Sharapova was in total control in her third round match-up against Venus Williams. The winner of the Australian Open in 2008 stunned the American with a 6-1, 6-3 score line to progress into the fourth round of the first grand slam of 2013 in style.
The power and determination from the Russian was too much for Williams, who simply didn’t have answers and was outplayed in every department of the game.
Williams, 32, was unrecognisable in the first set as she couldn’t hold on to her serves, and Sharapova raced into a comfortable 5-1 lead with less than half an hour played. Sharapova who had a great year in 2012, winning the French Open for the first time in her career, faltered on her serve before finally closing out the match, which turned out to be less exciting than what the crowd expected.
“I was 5-1 up and made a couple more errors than I would have liked, so I was very pleased to have served it out,” said the 25-year-old.
Sharapova admitted her excitement towards playing former world number one Venus Williams after their battle, “I was really excited to play Venus again. No matter where she is ranked, she’s always a very tough player to play”.
Venus, who is now ranked 25th, praised Sharapova after her disappointing exit from the tournament. “She played very well. I expect her to play well…definitely not my best day today,” concluded Williams.
Sharapova will now face Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium on Sunday. The two players have met twice in the past and Sharapova leads head to head 2-0.
Umida Ibrahimova, tennis correspondent
3R (2) M Sharapova defeats (25) V Williams 61 63