MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Maria Sharapova suffered a late wobble in the blazing centre court heat before easing past 14th seed Anastasija Sevastova 6-1 7-6(4) to reach the third round of the Australian Open on Thursday.
With the temperatures soaring, the former champion fired a barrage of winners past the Latvian to roar through the first set in 23 minutes at Rod Laver Arena.
Sharapova wavered when serving for the match at 5-4, allowing Sevastova to drag the match into a tiebreak, but the Russian doubled down on her baseline firepower to raise three match points quickly.
She closed out the match on the second when Sevastova clubbed a forehand long and will next meet the winner of 2016 champion Angelique Kerber and Donna Vekic for a place in the last 16.
Editing by Peter Rutherford