Melbourne, Australia – Former champion Maria Sharapova, last year's Wimbledon runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska and former world No. 1 Venus Williams highlighted Wednesday's second-round winners at the Australian Open.
The second-seeded reigning French Open champion and former world No. 1 Sharapova, who titled in Melbourne in 2008 and is a two-time runner-up here, including last year, became the first woman in 28 years to win her first two matches at a Grand Slam event by double-bageling Japan's Misaki Doi 6-0, 6-0 at Melbourne Park. The last woman do accomplish the feat was Wendy Turnbull at the 1985 Aussie Open.
"I've been playing really aggressive and doing the right things," Sharapova said. "It's not easy to be up so much because you can have a few letdowns. You just have to try to concentrate. My job is to make it as easy as possible."
Sharapova lost to current world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka in last year's Aussie final. She'll tussle with Williams in a marquee third-rounder on Friday.
"I'm playing against Maria. I'm going to have to be at my best against her," Williams said.
The fourth-seeded Radwanska, meanwhile, moved to 11-0 this year with a 6-3, 6-3 handling of Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3, 6-3 at Rod Laver Arena. Radwanska opened her 2013 campaign with back-to-back titles in Auckland and Sydney and has won 22 consecutive sets this season.
Up next for Radwanska will be Britain's Heather Watson.
The 25th-seeded Williams waltzed past France's Alize Cornet 6-3, 6-3. The seven-time Grand Slam champ was the 2003 Aussie Open runner-up to her younger sister Serena.
Germany's Angelique Kerber, the tournament's fifth seed, whipped Czech Lucie Hradecka 6-3, 6-1 in a little over an hour, while sixth-seeded Chinese star Li Na advanced past Belarusian Olga Govortsova 6-2, 7-5, overcoming a 2-5 deficit in the second set in the process. Li captured the French Open and was the Aussie Open runner-up in 2011.
Kerber's third-round opponent will be American teenager Madison Keys, while Li will face Romanian Sorana Cirstea on Friday.
A top-10 seed was ousted when ninth-seeded former U.S. Open champion and heavy Aussie crowd favorite Sam Stosur was outlasted by China's Zheng Jie, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5. Stosur has never reached the quarterfinals at her home major.
In other matches involving top-20 seeds, No. 11 Marion Bartoli beat Serbian Vesna Dolonc 7-5, 6-0; No. 13 Ana Ivanovic held off Taiwan's Yung-Jan Chan 7-5, 1-6, 6-4; Russian Valeria Savinykh knocked out No. 15 Dominika Cibulkova 7-6 (8-6), 6-4; No. 18 Julia Goerges drilled Swiss Romina Oprandi 6-3, 6-2; and No. 19 Ekaterina Makarova drubbed Frenchwoman Stephanie Foretz Gacon 6-3, 6-3. The former world No. 1 and former French Open champion Ivanovic was the 2008 Aussie runner-up to Sharapova. Cibulkova was last week's Sydney runner-up to Radwanska.
Meanwhile, 22nd-seeded Jelena Jankovic overcame Portuguese Maria Joao Koehler 2-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 and the 17-year-old Keys doused 30th-seeded Austrian Tamira Paszek 6-2, 6-1. Jankovic will battle her fellow former No. 1 and fellow Serb Ivanovic in the round 32.
Keys appears to be on the rise.
"It was a huge confidence boost," Keys said after beating Paszek. "It made me feel really good. It made me see that if I'm playing well and staying calm and everything I can play pretty well."
Some other second-round action saw Belgian Kirsten Flipkens bounce 23rd-seeded Czech Klara Zakopalova 6-1, 6-0, the 27th-seeded Cirstea come back to best Czech Kristyna Pliskova 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, and the aforementioned Watson overcome Russian Ksenia Pervak 4-6, 7-6 (9-7), 6-2.
The second round will resume on Thursday, including matches for the top- seeded Azarenka and a third-seeded Serena. The reigning Aussie champion and U.S. Open runner-up Azarenka will take on Greek Eleni Daniilidou, while the reigning U.S. Open and Wimbledon winner Serena will face little-known Spaniard Garbine Muguruza.
Serena is a 15-time major champion, including an Open Era-record five Aussie Open championships.
Other top-10 seeds slated for Day-4 action are No. 8 former Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova and No. 10 former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki. Kvitova will meet fellow left-hander Laura Robson of Britain, while the former U.S. Open runner-up Wozniacki will line up against Croatian Donna Vekic.
Also on Thursday, 21st-seeded American Varvara Lepchenko will battle Russian Elena Vesnina and 29th-seeded American Sloane Stephens will tangle with France's Kristina Mladenovic. Vesnina captured her first-ever WTA title last week in Hobart.