Australian Open 2018: Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic eye pre-quarterfinal berths

Australian Open 2018: Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic eye pre-quarterfinal berths

Former champions Maria Sharapova and Angelique Kerber turned on the style to sweep into the Australian Open second round Tuesday, but it was curtains for lanky Canadian Milos Raonic.

The five-time grand slam champion lost to Sevastova at the US Open past year and won a tight thriller in Beijing, leaving her pleased with a much more convincing victory on a hot day in Melbourne.

Kerber, who joined Sharapova in the 30-something club on Thursday, beat absent reigning champion Serena Williams to win the 2016 Australian Open and is a formidable opponent when at her best.

"We wanted to use this opportunity to speak about certain subjects and see how everyone reacts to that and I guess see what opinions are", said the Serb.

Sharapova was banned for after testing positive for the drug meldonium here in 2016, when she reached the quarterfinals, and finished past year ranked No. 60.

"There are certain days where you just have to, as a tournament supervisor, recognize that you might need to give players a few extra hours", he said. "I had a really tough off-season, really happy to be here playing against the best players". I'm looking forward to work on it more. She happens to be the next one that I have to play.

Anastasija Sevastova and Maria Sharapova met twice a year ago, once at the US Open and the other at the China Open.

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"I thought it's over at that moment", said Halep of the match points.

"I play him like two years in Rod Laver".

The five-time Grand Slam champion is set to play against Kerber, who won the Australian Open title in 2016.

A rasping forehand drive in game seven set the tone for a third break to clinch the set, and Sharapova's misery continued as a costly double fault followed by a long forehand gifted Kerber a 2-0 lead in the second.

The five-time Grand Slam champion consolidated easily as she moved within two games of closing out the match.

After the injury timeout, Djokovic went on to break his rival's next serve, getting a 4-1 advantage that he built on to seal the second set against Viñolas, who was making his first appearance in the Australian Open third round.

Sixth seed Karolina Pliskova is also in action, against Lucie Safarova, while eighth seed Caroline Garcia meets unseeded Aliaksandra Sasnovich. While Federer will take on 29th seed Richard Gasquet of France, Djokovic will square off with 21st seed Albert Ramos Vinolas of Spain.

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