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Friday, January 19, 2007

Maria Sharapova beat Anastassia Rodionova

Top seed Maria Sharapova made up for her exhausting opening victory with a 6-0, 6-3 drubbing of fellow Russian Anastasia Rodionova in the Australian Open's second round Thursday.

Maria Sharapova Australian Open-2007

Maria, who was within two points of defeat by Frenchwoman Camille Pin in 50 degree Celsius midday heat Tuesday, looked much more comfortable on a cooler evening and clinched victory in 58 minutes. The world No. 2 said she felt fully recovered from her grueling three-hour opener that she won 9-7 in the final set. "I'm definitely recovered from it, I feel good physically," she told a news conference. "I played a little bit better today but still nowhere my top level and I think I can definitely get better as I play more matches here."

Maria Sharapova, who stayed on course for her first Australian Open title and third Grand Slam, still thinks players should be protected more from the problems of playing in extreme heat. "I think when it gets to a certain point where it's extreme heat, players should probably stop. Even if there is a 20-minute delay, I think that's why the roof's there. Heat is one of the most dangerous things for players. Today I felt like I could work on a few things and really see how I was playing," Sharapova said. "I'm glad I got off to a good start and I'm glad I was able to finish the match quickly." Maria will play Italian Tathiana Garbin, the 30th seed, in the third round.

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