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Sharapova, Venus second-round winners at Australian Open

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The Sports Network
1/16/2013 9:04:02 AM
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Melbourne, Australia (Sports Network) - Former champion Maria Sharapova, last year's Wimbledon runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska and former world No. 1 Venus Williams highlighted Wednesday's second-round winners at the Australian Open.

The second-seeded reigning French Open champion and former world No. 1 Sharapova, who titled in Melbourne in 2008 and is a two-time runner-up here, including last year, became the first woman in 28 years to win her first two matches at a Grand Slam event by double-bageling Japan's Misaki Doi 6-0, 6-0 at Melbourne Park. The last woman do accomplish the feat was Wendy Turnbull at the 1985 Aussie Open.

Sharapova lost to current world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka in last year's Aussie final.

The fourth-seeded Radwanska, meanwhile, moved to 11-0 this year with a 6-3, 6-3 handling of Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3, 6-3 at Rod Laver Arena. Radwanska opened her 2013 campaign with back-to-back titles in Auckland and Sydney. The scrappy Pole has won 22 consecutive sets this season.

The 25th-seeded Williams waltzed past France's Alize Cornet 6-3, 6-3. The seven-time Grand Slam champ was the 2003 Aussie Open runner-up to her younger sister Serena.

Germany's Angelique Kerber, the tournament's fifth seed, whipped Czech Lucie Hradecka 6-3, 6-1 in a little over an hour, while sixth-seeded Chinese star Li Na advanced past Belarusian Olga Govortsova 6-2, 7-5, overcoming a 2-5 deficit in the second set in the process. Li captured the French Open and was the Aussie Open runner-up in 2011.

A top-10 seed was ousted when ninth-seeded former U.S. Open champion and heavy Aussie crowd favorite Sam Stosur was outlasted by China's Zheng Jie, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5. Stosur has never reached the quarterfinals at her home major.

In other matches involving top-20 seeds, No. 11 Marion Bartoli beat Serbian Vesna Dolonc 7-5, 6-0; No. 13 Ana Ivanovic held off Taiwan's Yung-Jan Chan 7-5, 1-6, 6-4; Russian Valeria Savinykh knocked out No. 15 Dominika Cibulkova 7-6 (8-6), 6-4; No. 18 Julia Goerges drilled Swiss Romina Oprandi 6-3, 6-2; and No. 19 Ekaterina Makarova drubbed Frenchwoman Stephanie Foretz Gacon 6-3, 6-3. The former world No. 1 and former French Open champion Ivanovic was the 2008 Aussie runner-up to Sharapova.

Meanwhile, 22nd-seeded former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic overcame Portuguese Maria Joao Koehler 2-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 and 17-year-old American Madison Keys doused 30th-seeded Austrian Tamira Paszek 6-2, 6-1.

Some other second-round action saw Belgian Kirsten Flipkens bounce 23rd-seeded Czech Klara Zakopalova 6-1, 6-0, 27th-seeded Sorana Cirstea come back to best Czech Kristyna Pliskova 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, and Brit Heather Watson overcome Russian Ksenia Pervak 4-6, 7-6 (9-7), 6-2.

Maria Sharapova (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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