A rematch of last year’s Australian Open women’s singles finals between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova could happen as early as the quarterfinals stage if both players get past their respective opponents in the fourth round of the tournament.
With the way things are working for Williams and Sharapova in this year’s Australian Open, a classic finals rematch between the two is getting more and more likely although it could come as early as the quarterfinal round.
Williams, who defeated Sharapova in straight sets (6-3 7-6) last year to claim the Australian Open title, leads the “Siberian Siren” in their WTA Head2Head by 18-2. The last time Sharapova beat Williams was in 2004 at the final rounds of Wimbledon and the Tour Championships and it doesn’t look like she could defeat WTA’s world No. 1 in this tournament either.
In her first three matches at Melbourne Park, Williams has not dropped a single set, although those are against low ranked players. But it is still a remarkable run so far for Williams, who continues to play well despite injury concerns prior to the start of the tournament. Her previous outing against Daria Kasatkina proved that she is still a force to reckon with in the women’s category, schooling the Russian teen 6-1 6-1 in a span of just 44 minutes.
"I thought I played pretty well in the other matches,” Williams, who now faces Russia’s Margarita Gasparyan in the fourth round of the tournament, said, reports ESPN. “My first match I thought I gave a great effort. My second match I thought, under the circumstances, I thought I played well. Hopefully with each match I can just do better.''
Meanwhile, Sharapova is having an impressive run of her own despite not playing for most of the tournaments last season. The five-time Grand Slam winner achieved her 600th career win as a professional against American Lauren Davis 6-1 6-7(5) 6-0. Sharapova, who faces Swiss Belinda Bencic in the fourth round, has brushed off any concerns of a forearm injury, which forced her to withdraw from the Brisbane International earlier this month, but could be an issue as the tournament goes on.
“I feel pretty good,” Sharapova said after winning her second round match, reports the Western Morning News. “I felt I was more confident with my left hand today. Especially when it’s in the hand and wrist area, it’s in the back of your mind even though you’re feeling it. I felt really good and confident today about it.”