Well, that was quick. I can’t imagine what it is like to be a player like Olga Puchkova. You’re excited to play in the first Major of 2013, the Australian Open, and do so on Rod Laver Arena. Unfortunately, you get former Australian Open champion, career Grand Slam winner and no doubt about it future Hall of Famer Maria Sharapova. Maybe you think, hey she’s coming in off a collarbone injury. She could be vulnerable. Maybe she will have one of those days where she’s plagued by service yips. All futile hopes. Masha lowered the hammer on Puchkova, dismissing her with a 6-0 6-0 double bagel before Olga knew what hit her.
Venus Williams was similarly impressive, crushing Galina Voskoboeva, 6-1 6-0. The early round match most want to see is a potential 3rd round match-up between Masha and Venus. That’s not usually a head to head you’d see this early in a Major, but Venus’ health issues have kept her away from the game long enough for her ranking to slip. But if she’s on her game, that’s a potential barn burner if both Williams and Sharapova get by their second round matches.
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