January 18, 2018 / 1:49 AM / a year ago

Sharapova too hot for Sevastova, reaches third round

Tennis - Australian Open - Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, Australia, January 18, 2018. Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates winning against Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

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

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