Venus Williams defeated Alize Cornet of France 6-3, 6-3 on Wednesday to advance to the third round of the Australian Open where she will face Maria Sharapova.
Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam singles champion, did not look as impressive as she did in her opening round defeat over Galina Voskoboeva, which only took 60 minutes.
In the first two games of the match, Williams found herself down to Cornet and then went down on a break serve early in the second set.
Williams managed to overcome both slumps by winning six of the last seven games of the first set and the last four of the second set. She capitalized on Cornet’s double-fault on a set point to win in 1 hour, 17 minutes.
The 25th-seeded Williams will now face second-seeded Sharapova in the third round. Sharapova disposed of Japan’s Misaki Doi in 47 minutes to win 6-0, 6-0.
This will be a highly anticipated match with two of the biggest stars of the sport.
“I better bring my best game to her,” Williams told The Australian.
Sharapova is last year’s Australian Open runner-up and has yet to lose a game in her first two rounds of the tournament.
Williams and Sharapova have played each other seven times head-to-head. Sharapova currently leads the battle 4-3, but Williams has won their only two grand slam meetings in straight sets. She defeated Sharapova in straight sets at the Wimbledon in 2005 and 2007, ultimately winning the championship both times.
“I hope for it to be a great match,” Sharapova said. “You certainly know what she’s capable of.”
Sharapova admits that she will not be thinking of how many titles Williams has won when she takes the court Wednesday, but of ways to capture as many points as possible to advance to the finals.