Kerber makes light work of Sharapova in round three

Former champion Angelique Kerber blew Maria Sharapova away in straight sets to secure her place in the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Both players came into the third-round encounter on the back of easy wins, but 2016 champion Kerber was just too strong and powerful for her opponent, winning 6-1, 6-3 in one hour and six minutes.

The German had the upper hand from the word go as she broke Sharapova in the opening game of the match. The Russian struggled with her serve throughout the first set and it was no surprise when Kerber broke twice more to take a one-set lead.

Sharapova again dropped her serve in the first game of the second set, but she hit back straightaway to make it 1-1, and then looked to have settled into a nice rhythm.

However, Kerber upped her game and claimed the decisive break in the eighth game.

“This court is so special for me, so I came out here and I was trying to enjoy every point and with you guys it’s even more special,” Kerber said.

“I knew before the match it would be a tough one. I was really trying to play my game. I am so happy it is 2018 and not 2017 any more. I’m just trying to enjoy every moment right now.

“I learned a lot from the last 24 months. I had a great 2016 and last year was a little bit tougher, but everybody who knows me knows I never give up.”

The German will face either Agnieszka Radwanska or Hsieh Su-wei in the fourth round.