Maria Sharapova may have dropped just two games in cruising into the third round of the Australian Open but the Russian has denied that indicates a lack of depth in the women’s game.
Sharapova, seeded fourth in Melbourne, thrashed Jamie Hampton 6-0 6-1 on Rod Laver Arena, duplicating her emphatic first-round victory over Gisela Dulko.
The clash with Hampton was closer than the scoreline suggests, though, and Sharapova was irritated by suggestions there were too few serious challenges in the early rounds of grand slam events.
She said: “You never know what you’re going to get. Sometimes we come out and we play three-set matches from the beginning and then it’s a question of ‘You’re top five in the world, why is someone challenging you to three sets from the beginning?’
“I think it’s just an excuse to make another story. That’s really what it all comes down to. My goal is to go into a match and play my game. If I do it well enough and come out winning 6-0, 6-1, then I’ve done a good job.”
Adding to her three grand slam crowns remains a priority in 2012, but Sharapova also admitted doing well at this summer’s London Olympics, where the tennis event will be staged at Wimbledon, was a major goal.