Sharapova Beats V. Williams to Reach 4th Round of Australian Open


Maria Sharapova defeated Venus Williams 6-1, 6-3 in a lopsided match-up between Grand Slam champions on Friday night to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Sharapova and Williams have 11 majors combined — four for the Russian, and seven for the Williams.

The 32-year-old Williams broke Sharapova as the Russian was serving for the match at 6-1, 5-1 to keep the match alive. But Sharapova was able to close it out on her next service game.

Williams has only advanced past the third round once in the past two years — at Wimbledon in 2011.

Sharapova lost the 2012 Australian Open final before going on to win at the French Open.

Earlier, former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic advanced to the fourth round of the Australian Open after beating Jelena Jankovic 7-5, 6-3 in a Friday clash featuring two Serbians who were both former top-ranked players.

Ivanovic surged to a 5-2 lead in the first set but lost the next three games as Jankovic fought back. The 13th-ranked Ivanovic broke Janovic to pull ahead 6-5 and the won the first set with an ace.

The 25-year old Ivanovic had an easier time in the second set, wrapping it up on her second match point.

Ivanovic spent 12 weeks at No. 1 after winning the French Open in 2008.

Her next opponent is No.4 Angieszka Radwanska, who is on a 12-match winning streak.

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