The German has ben in exceptional form this year, after a thoroughly disappointing 2017, and she levelled her head-to-head with the five-time major victor in what was a very professional display. "But looking at the overall picture, the overall beginning of this year, finishing the tournament, the first thing is that I'm healthy".
The German enjoyed an unbeaten singles campaign in the Hopman Cup, won in Sydney and surrendered only nine games in the first two rounds in Melbourne. "I had a great 2016 and previous year was tougher but everyone who knows me knows I never give up". "It's a little bit different than with Torben, but you know, I think I needed the change, and that's why I made a decision to change everything".
She started the match in strong fashion, not offering her opponent any break points, and took both break point chances she had during an easy first set.
Lauren Davis beat Andrea Petkovic 4-6, 6-0, 6-0 and has a potential third-round match against top-ranked Simona Halep, who had a later match against Eugenie Bouchard. "Obviously he wasn't at his best at the end of the second and the entire third set". The averted danger and skipped through to victory by virtue of winning the final three games of the match. However, Sharapova immediately broke back to get back on level terms, and for some of the set, the match became more competitive as the Russian began to test the German. "I gave everything I had today, and actually, I'm really proud that I could stay there and win it". I was consistent but I was looking to come forward.
Sharapova, who will turn 31 in April, has farther to go to crank back her clock. My ankle... I can't feel it any more.
Halep will play the victor of Saturday's later match between local hope Ashleigh Barty and Naomi Osaka. Garcia will play Madison Keys in the fourth round.
Sixth-seeded Karolina Pliskova had 11 aces and beat No. 29 Lucie Safarova 7-6 (6), 7-5 in a match featuring just one service break.
Although the next set was a "little dicey", as she wobbled when serving for the match at 5-4, Sharapova was glad to beat a hasty retreat from the broiling conditions.
Picture of the day Novak Djokovic hits a backhand return against Albert Ramos-Vinolas (Ng Han Guan/AP) Rivalry?
Halep's next opponent will be Japan's rising star Naomi Osaka, who upset No. 18 Ashleigh Barty 6-4, 6-2, and it remains to be seen if Halep can recover in time to deal with Osaka's firepower.
Federer entered the Australian Open past year under similar circumstances, coming off an extended break for a knee injury, and went on to win the title.
Mens seeds eliminated included No. 7 David Goffin and No. 13 Sam Querrey, who was beaten 6-4, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-2 by 80th-ranked Marton Fucsovics.
"It's a different voice", Kerber said. "I'm coming in very fit, very well equipped knowing five sets is not an issue".
Kerber has good memories here from 2016, when she pulled off a remarkable win in the final against Williams.
Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia, the 8th seed, defeated Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 6-3, 5-7, 6-2.