Maria Sharapova revealed she was glad to be back playing tennis in Melbourne following her convincing second round win at the Australian Open on Wednesday.
The Russian superstar took advantage of the 18 unforced errors Aliaksandra Sasnovich made to cruise to a straight set victory in the Rod Laver Arena.
The fifth seed has fond memories of Melbourne, as she reached her fourth Australian Open final in 2015, only to lose to an indomitable Serena WIlliams.
“It’s great to be back on this court after a great run last year,” quipped the 28-year-old on wtatennis.com.
The roof of the Rod Laver Arena came in handy, as thunderstorms broke around the city.
“That’s what we have to expect in Melbourne, and that’s one of the toughest challenges of this tournament,” the five time grand slam winner added.
“The weather changes; one day it’s over 40 degrees Celcius, another day you need a parka! Overall, I’m just happy that I could get the match in because I know many players are waiting for the rain to stop.”
The 2008 winner will now face American Lauren Davis in the third round. Should she make it past the 22-year-old, Sharapova will likely face old foe Williams in the fourth round.
Williams – the defending champion – is on a 17 match win streak against Sharapova, with the latter having last defeated her at Wimbledon in 2004.
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