(January 18, 2013) The eagerly anticipated match-up did not live up to its billing on Friday as No. 2 Maria Sharapova demolished No. 25 seed Venus Williams 6-1, 6-3 on Friday night to gain the fourth round of the Australian Open.
Sharapova was quick out of the gate running up the score to 4-0 before Williams got on the board to stop Sharapova’s consecutive game streak in Melbourne. The 28 straight games for the Russian sets an Open Era record for consecutive games won to open a Grand Slam, surpassing Wendy Turnbull’s mark back at the 1985 Australian Open.
Williams made it more competitive in the second set, breaking Sharapova as she was serving for the match at 5-1. Williams held to get within 3-5.
Sharapova closed out the 79 minute match with an ace followed by a quadruple fist pump and a shriek in celebration.
Sharapova commented on her celebration: “Well, I lost a couple ‑‑ I was up 5‑1, down Love‑40, and it was swinging back and forth for those couple of games. Then I was up 30‑Love, it got back to 30‑All, and I served that game out really well. I was just really pumped. Why shouldn’t I be?”
“Well, I was a really determined player out there because I knew the tennis that she’s capable of producing and playing,” Sharapova said.
“Despite what she’s ranked or seeded, it doesn’t matter when you go out on the court. She’s been there. She’s experienced enough to know no matter if you’re playing the third round, the quarters, or the final, you have to be ready.
“I certainly was. Since the draw came out, I was really looking forward to that matchup.”
Venus was not surprised by Sharapova’s dominant play. “She played very well,” Williams said. “I expect her to play well.”
“Definitely not my best day today. But, you know, there’s always other days to play better.”
“Honestly, every day that I practice is a day that I’m motivated to be better,” commented Williams. “Regardless of my results I want to be better, the best, the best that I can bring.”
Sharapova will next play Belgian Kirsten Flipkens in the Round of 16.