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Australian Open

Sharapova happy with progress ahead of Kerber test

The former world number one showed some good form in Melbourne and was pleased with her display as she prepares to face the 2016 champion.

Sharapova happy with progress ahead of Kerber test
Getty Images

Maria Sharapova was happy with her improved display after an impressive win over Anastasija Sevastova at the Australian Open.

Despite a shaky finish on Rod Laver Arena on Thursday, Sharapova was relatively comfortable in a 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) second-round win to set up a match against 2016 champion Angelique Kerber.

The five-time grand slam champion lost to Sevastova at the US Open last year and won a tight thriller in Beijing, leaving her pleased with a much more convincing victory on a hot day in Melbourne.

"I had really tough matches against her. Despite winning our last match, I faced two match points and barely got through that one, 7-6 in the third," Sharapova said.

"It's a warm day. I did my job in two sets against someone that's been troubling in the past for me. So third round of the Australian Open, I think I deserve to smile out there after that victory."

Sharapova's first set against Sevastova was particularly impressive, including 12 winners and losing just nine points.

The Russian was happy with her aggression during the opening stages of her win.

"I was really happy with how aggressive I was. I was consistent but I was looking to come forward," Sharapova said.

"I played really well at the net, finished the balls off with a swing volley or good volley.

"Something I've been working on, and definitely improved in the match today. Little dicey in the second set, to say the least, but I got through it.

"I did the job in two, and that's not something I did towards the end of last year. I think that's an improvement."


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