Serena & Sharapova power through

Williams is trying to win a seventh Australian Open title

Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova avoided any threat of upsets with straightforward wins in round two of the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Fifth seed Sharapova beat Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2 6-1 on Rod Laver Arena before top seed Williams thrashed Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-Wei 6-1 6-2.

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are among those in action on Wednesday.

British number ones Andy Murray and Jo Konta resume their campaigns in the second round on Thursday.

Japanese seventh seed Kei Nishikori was another early winner on day three as he beat American Austin Krajicek 6-3 7-6 (7-5) 6-3.

Ukraine’s Kateryna Bondarenko caused an upset with a 6-1 7-5 win over Russian 23rd seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, winner of the Sydney title last week.

Venus fined for media snub

World number 10 and seven-times Grand Slam champion Venus Williams was given a US$5,000 fine for failing to appear at a news conference on Tuesday.

The American, 35, did not fulfil her post-match media commitments after losing in straight sets to Britain’s Jo Konta.

Williams was fined US$3,000 by the International Tennis Federation at last year’s French Open for skipping her media duties following a first-round defeat by Sloane Stephens.

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