The third round of grand slams is always eagerly anticipated as the quality of matches increase with the seeded players set to face off against each other. This year’s Australian Open will see a true heavyweight clash with the meeting of Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams.
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While the matchup perhaps doesn't have quite the luster that it may have had a few years ago, there is plenty to anticipate in a meeting between two players that have claimed 11 grand slams between them.
Sharapova completed a hugely impressive return from potentially career-threatening shoulder surgery to claim the French Open last year and now sits second in the rankings. Williams too has had plenty to overcome after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder.
The 32-year-old deserves massive credit for returning to the tour and battling back up the rankings last year to her current spot at No. 26. While her energy levels will always perhaps be unpredictable from one day to the next, Williams now appears to have a greater control of the illness and has looked strong so far in Melbourne, wining her two opening matches with little fuss.
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