Melbourne: Maria Sharapova defeated Venus Williams 6-1, 6-3 in a lopsided match-up between Grand Slam champions on Friday night to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open.
Sharapova and Williams have 11 majors combined - four for the Russian, and seven for Williams. The 32-year-old Williams broke Sharapova as the Russian was serving for the victory at 6-1, 5-1 to keep the match alive. But Sharapova was able to close it out on her next service game.
Williams has only advanced past the third round once in the past two years - at Wimbledon in 2011. Sharapova lost the 2012 Australian Open final before going on to win at the French Open.