Sharapova storms into round three

Maria Sharapova stormed into the third round of the Australian Open on Thursday morning with a straight sets win over Anastasija Sevastova.

It was sweet revenge for the Russian after the Latvian number 14 seed knocked her out of last year’s US Open.

The unseeded former champion Sharapova was on top early, holding to love and then pressuring the Latvian on her first service game although she ultimately managed to hold.

That was her only hold though as Sharapova won the next five games to take the first set 6-1.

The second set was more competitive, with the duo regularly trading breaks of serve on the way to a tie-break.

But it was the 2008 champion who found an extra gear in the tie-breaker as she pulled away to clinch it 7-4 and claim the match.

Sharapova will now face the winner of the match between 2016 champion Angelique Kerber (21) and Dona Vekic.

Another seed to make an early exit was ninth seed Johanna Konta, who was shocked by lucky loser Bernarda Pera of the US. Last year’s semi-finalist going out after losing 6-4, 7-5 to the 127th ranked American, who will play Barbara Strycova (20) of the Czech Republic in the third round.

Eighth seed Caroline Garcia had to fight to secure her place in round three, coming back from a set down to beat Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic 7-6 (7-3), 2-6, 6-8.

Former world number 2 Agnieszka Radwanska also made it through after losing the first set to Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko.

The Polish 26th seed pulled it round to win 6-2, 5-7, 3-6 and set up a tie against the winner of the Garbine Muguruza, Hsieh Su-wei tie.

More reports to come…

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