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New partner for Mattek-Sands at Aussie Open

New partner for Mattek-Sands at Aussie Open

In other games, No.11 seed Aryna Sabalenka, from Belarus, advanced to the third round for the first time with a 6-3 6-4 win over Great Britain's Katie Boulter.

"She's number three in the world".

Almost two years into her comeback from a 15-month doping ban, Sharapova has not yet shown signs that she is about to return to the top of the game, but victory over Wozniacki tomorrow would certainly be a statement.

"I haven't played many matches in the a year ago, especially against top players", Sharapova said.

Next for Sharapova is a matchup against Australia's Ash Barty, who beat Maria Sakkari 7-5, 6-1 to equal her best showing at any major tournament.

Germany's second seed Angelique Kerber, the 2016 title victor, steamrolled Australian youngster Kimberley Birrell 6-1, 6-0 as the Wimbledon champions continued her under-the-radar progress.

Wozniacki's match was considerably earlier in the day, while Sharapova's win wrapped up Day 3 after midnight.

Asked what her bedtime was, Sharapova said: "10:30".




Kerber may be a match too far for Birrell but she will not be the only player to feel that this tournament.

The Russian 30th seed, who was suspended for 15 months for taking banned drug meldonium in 2016, broke 23-year-old Peterson twice in the opening set and peppered the court with powerful groundstrokes in a superb display of hitting.

"Then she started making less errors, she started playing it deep, coming into the net, it threw me off a little bit off my timing. Certainly have a tough match ahead of me", she added.

"I think we will enjoy the next round".

The 28-year-old Dane said she had been buoyed returning to Melbourne Park as the defending champion.

The Russian stepped up the intensity and the footwork in the second set, allowing Peterson only a single hold of serve. I mean, I think that speaks for itself in terms of her game, her confidence, everything else.

Sharapova won the Australian Open in 2008 which happens to be one of her five Grand Slam trophies but hasn't been past the quarterfinals since 2015.

"It's getting to the point now where I'm feeling more and more comfortable on the court and can play my brand of tennis, which when I execute I know it works against the best in the world", said a confident Barty.

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