Sharapova through in Melbourne, Ivanovic sets up Jankovic clash

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Maria Sharapova, the 2nd seed in this year’s Australian Open, served up her second consecutive double bagel in her second round match against a hapless Misaki Doi of Japan, ranked at 92. The Japanese player had had a good win over the experienced Daniela Hantuchova in the first round. This is the first time any female player has won her first two rounds in a Grand Slam in this fashion since Wendy Turnbull in 1985 – before Sharapova was born – also at the Australian Open. There was another statistic of interest in this match – Doi is the shortest player on the tour, at just five foot three, while Sharapova is the tallest, at six foot two. The entire match took only 47 minutes for the ruthless Russian to progress to the third round, where she will meet Venus Williams.

Ana Ivanovic of Serbia, the tournament’s 13th seed and 2008 finalist, made life very difficult for herself in her match against the qualifier from Taiwan, Yung-Jan Chang, who is ranked at 118. In the first set the Serbian led 3-0 but let things slip until she had to save a set point on her way to taking the set 7-5. In the second set, Invanovic lost her concentration and timing completely, to let Chan go 5-0 up take and easily take the set 6-1. In the decider, Ivanovic immediately broke and held, but the plucky Taiwanese saw that her opponent was fist pumping on every point won and was obviously not confident. She battled back to 2-4 and broke for 3-4, before Ivanovic broke back for 5-3. Again Chan reached 4-5, but the Serb managed to serve out to take the set 6-4 for the win.

Ivanovic’s compatriot Jelena Jankovic, the 22nd seed, also had a marathon struggle to get through to the third round. Playing the Portuguese qualifier Maria Joao Koehler who is ranked at 129, the Serbian former world number one fell behind 0-4 and lost the first set 2-6. In the second set games went with serve to a tie breaker, which Jankovic won 7-5. In the third set, Jankovic managed to break Koehler twice before serving out the set 6-2, in a match that lasted two hours forty minutes.

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