Sharapova to face Venus in crunch clash

Maria Sharapova will face Venus Williams in the third round of the Australian Open following a 6-0 6-0 win over Misaki Doi.

Story highlights

  • Maria Sharapova to face Venus Williams in third round of Australian Open
  • Sharapova claimed second consecutive double bagel victory
  • Williams defeats France's Alize Cornet 6-3 6-3 to progress to next stage
  • Wins for Agnieszka Radwanska, Angelique Kerber and Li Na

Maria Sharapova faces a showdown with seven-time grand slam champion Venus Williams at the Australian Open after producing another star showing.

The world No. 2, who won her opening match 6-0, 6-0, repeated the feat as she swept aside Japan's Misaki Doi.

Sharapova is the first female player to record "double bagel" wins at a grand slam since Wendy Turnbull in Australia in 1985.

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But that will count for little when the 2008 champion goes up against Williams in what promises to be a hard-fought affair.

"There are certainly no secrets coming into that match-up," Sharapova told reporters of the clash against Williams.

"We've played against each other many times. You know, despite the fact that she might not be seeded high or didn't play for a little bit, she's still a very experienced player and a tremendous athlete. I hope for it to be a great match."

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Williams, whose last grand slam title came at Wimbledon in 2008, booked her place in the third round with a comfortable 6-3 6-3 win over Alize Cornet on Rod Laver Arena.

The 32-year-old has been battling injury and illness over the past two years but clawed her way back to 26th in the world rankings following her 44th career title in Luxembourg.

And while Sharapova leads the pair's head-to-head record 4-3, Williams is confident she can prevail despite her opponent's impressive start to the tournament.

"There's going to be days when you play great and win, and there's going to be days when you play not as great and you win," she said.

"Whatever day that is, you have to win. It's not about for me I have to play perfect every match. I don't have that mentality."

"I know I'm not the highest seed, so I realize I'm probably going to have to play someone and someone is going to have to play me. That's pretty much what it is.

"I don't focus on the best game. I focus on just trying to play my best, no matter if it's the best game or not the best game."

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Elsewhere, home favourite Sam Stosur crashed out after throwing away a 5-2 lead in the final set before losing 6-4 1-6 7-5 to China's Zheng Jie.

The 2011 U.S. Open champion bemoaned her own mental state at crucial points in the match.

"I think it's a hundred percent," she told reporters when asked if the problem was psychological.

"I think, yeah, that's what it was. I got tight and then you start missing some balls.

"You probably think a little bit too much. You do it over and over and over again, and then, yeah, you start not wanting to miss rather than wanting to, you know, make the winner."

Fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska eased past Irina-Camelia Begu, while there were also wins for German fifth seed Angelique Kerber and China's sixth seed Li Na.


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