- Australian Open, Day Three
Sharapova sails as Stosur's Aussie Open woe continues
Maria Sharapova is yet to concede a game in four sets of tennis after she raced past Misaki Doi to book a spot in round three of the Australian Open on Wednesday.
Sharapova has now won 24 straight games to kick off her Melbourne campaign, dismissing Doi 6-0 6-0 in 47 minutes.
Russian Olga Puchkova had already suffered a double-bagel against the world No. 2 in Monday's first-round encounter, but Sharapova's latest win was more impressive as she embarrassed world No. 92 Doi at Hisense Arena.
Remarkably, Sharapova was the one contender expected to get off to a slow start at this year's event, having been forced to withdraw from the Brisbane International warm-up tournament due to injury.
She predicted early rust ahead of her opening match, but has since displayed the kind of form that swept her to the title in 2008. Doi retained her sense of humour by inspiring cheers from the crowd whenever she won a point in the second set, but it all ended in fittingly tame fashion as she slammed the ball into the net.
Next up for Sharapova is former world No. 1 Venus Williams who defeated the erratic Alize Cornet 6-3 6-3. After a sluggish start, Williams battled back from 0-2 down to take the opening set. Cornet, who reached the fourth round as an 18-year-old in 2009, broke Williams to love for a 3-2 lead in the second, but didn't win another game as Williams wrapped up victory.
Sam Stosur's Australian Open woe continued as she blew a third set lead to crash out to China's Zheng Jie. The former US Open champion looked to be firmly on course for victory when she led 5-2 in the decider, but slumped to a 6-4 1-6 7-5 defeat.
Handing her opponent victory when she double-faulted on match point, Stosur continued her woeful record at her home grand slam, having never made it past the fourth round in 11 visits to Melbourne Park. Next up for Zheng, meanwhile, is Germany's Julia Goerges, who beat Romina Oprandi 6-3 6-2.
Fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska made serene progress into the last-32 as she eased past Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3 6-3. Last year's Wimbledon finalist will face Heather Watson in the third round after the British No. 1 saved three match points en route to a 4-6 7-6(7) 6-2 victory over Ksenia Pervak.
Former Australian Open finalist Li Na moved into the third round with a 6-2 7-5 win over Olga Govortsova, while fifth seed Angelique Kerber eased past Lucie Hradecka 6-3 6-1.
No. 13 seed Ana Ivanovic recovered from a second-set wobble to defeat Yun-Jan Chan 7-5 1-6 6-4 to set up a mouth-watering third-round clash with fellow Serbian former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic, a 2-6 7-6(5) 6-2 winner against Portugal's Maria Joao Koehler.
There were two minor upsets on Wednesday as No. 15 seed Dominika Cibulkova was beaten 7-6(6) 6-4 by Russia's Valeria Savinykh, while Kirsten Flipkens romped to a surprise 6-1 6-0 win against No. 23 seed Klara Zakopalova.
Marion Bartoli progressed with a 7-5 6-0 win over Vesna Dolonc, and there were also wins for Ekaterina Makarova and Sorana Cirstea.