Kerber edges out Sharapova, advances to Australian Open 4th round
Melbourne: Angelique Kerber of Germany on Saturday prevailed over Maria Sharapova of Russia 6-1, 6-3 in a clash between two former World No.1s and previous Australian Open champions.
The 21st seed Kerber needed just 64 minutes to dispatch Sharapova, who won the Australian Open title in 2008, in the third round of the first Grand Slam event of the season, reports Efe.
"I have so many great memories from this court (Rod Laver Arena)," Kerber, the 2016 Australian Open champion, said.
"This court is so special for me and with you guys, it's even more special."
Sharapova struggled on serve during the match, winning just 38 and 47 percent of the first and second delivery points, respectively, which opened the door for Kerber to break her serve five times.
Kerber is to play either Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei or Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska for a place in the quarter-finals.
Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia, the 8th seed, defeated Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 6-3, 5-7, 6-2.
In the next round, Garcia is scheduled to face Madison Keys of the United States, the 17th seed, who got the better of Romania's Ana Bogdan 6-3, 6-4.