|Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates victory after her women's singles third round match against Venus Williams of the United States at 2013 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, Jan. 18, 2013. Maria Sharapova won 2-0 to enter the next round.(Xinhua/Chen Xiaowei)
MELBOURNE, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- Seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams was unable to stop Maria Sharapova here on Friday as the Russian powered into the fourth round of the Australian Open.
Second-seeded Sharapova, who won her first two matches in the Melbourne Park without dropping a game, beat Williams 6-1, 6-3 in an unexpectedly lopsided third-round result.
A forehand winner in the opening game handed Sharapova a break and a further break helped her establish a 4-0 advantage before Williams finally got on the board, which ended Sharapova's run of successive game to start the tournament at 28 games to none.
Then the Australian Open winner in 2008 marched on to break the American's serve for a third time to take the first set.
Sharapova swiftly moved into a 3-0 lead in the second but the 32-year-old Williams continued to fight on. She held off three break points in the fourth game, hitting back from 0-40 to take the game with a blistering forehand down the line.
Sharapova then broke for 5-1 at the fourth attempt but she could not serve it out as Williams fought to break her serve for the first time.
But the 25th seed still could not repeat the feat when runner-up of 2012 served again at 5-3.
"I really wanted this victory. I was 5-1 up (in the second set) and made a couple more errors than I would have liked so I was very pleased to have served it out." said Sharapova."I was really excited to play Venus again. She is a great athlete and no matter where she is ranked she's always a very tough player to play."
Kirsten Flipkens is the next player to stand in Sharapova's way after the Belgian beat Russian qualifier Valeria Savinykh 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.