Novak's ruthless display

Melbourne: Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova scorched into the third round of the Australian Open with displays of ruthless dominance on Wednesday to bring some much-needed pizzazz to the main showcourts.

Djokovic remained on course for a third successive title with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 demolition of Ryan Harrison, while Sharapova pummelled Misaki Doi 6-0, 6-0 to become the first player in 28 years to hand out consecutive 'double-bagels' at a Grand Slam.

Returning with venom and lacerating the court with his forehands, Djokovic took just 91 minutes to whip past the American and set up a meeting with Radek Stepanek, rating it among his best performances in the early rounds of a major.

"You're trying to perform your best in every match that you play in and this was definitely a better performance than the first round," the 25-year-old said.

Agnieszka Radwanska extended her winning streak this year to 11 matches with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Irina-Camelia Begu in the opening match on Rod Laver Arena, while Zheng Jie wrapped up the day session with a 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 upset of local hope Sam Stosur.

American Brian Baker could have been forgiven for letting out a scream of frustration after his tournament ended in a wheelchair when he sustained a serious knee injury. "He said he kind of just felt his knee almost buckle and kind of heard like a pop or a snap," said the 20th seed Querrey. "He didn't know if it was bones or a tear, but he couldn't straighten it, couldn't walk. I feel awful for him."

Women's second seed and 2008 champion Sharapova was in absolutely no mood for sympathy as she dismissed Japan's Doi in just 47 minutes on Hisense Arena. "I didn't offer candy today," Sharapova, who has just launched a confectionary business. "It's not really the statistic I want to be known for. I want to be known for winning Grand Slam titles, not that I won two matches 6-0, 6-0."

The Russian is unlikely to make it through the third round without dropping a game, though, after Venus Williams beat Alize Cornet 6-3, 6-3 in the match to decide her next opponent. Djokovic is likely to meet Berdych in the quarter finals, while Ferrer is seeded to play the Serbian world No. 1 in the semi-finals.

The fifth-seeded Czech Berdych wrapped up a 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 hammering of Frenchman Guillaume Rufin with his eighth ace after exactly two hours on Rod Laver Arena.

Ferrer, seeded fourth in the absence of Nadal, was playing out on Margaret Court Arena and required 38 minutes longer to despatch American lucky loser Tim Smyczek 6-0, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.

There was Asian success on Hisense Arena when China's Li Na battled back from 4-2 down in the second set to secure a 6-2, 7-5 win over Olga Govortsova, but for once she was outshone by compatriot Zheng.

The 2010 semi-finalist recorded a 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 win over Stosur but, in truth, the former US Open champion handed her opponent the victory after leading comfortably in the deciding set. (Reuters)

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

... because, as recent events reveal, the BCCI has little intention of doing it. More »

Rajasthan square up to Chennai batting arsenal

Rajasthan square up to Chennai batting arsenal

Chennai have possibly the strongest top six in the current IPL, but Rajasthan have been buoyed by the return to form of their captain Shane Watson. More »

Hope to be fit for next game - Kevin Pietersen

Hope to be fit for next game - Kevin Pietersen

With two heavy defeats at the hands of Bangalore and Chennai, Daredevils currently languish near the bottom of the table. More »

'A blow to BCCI, could hurt autonomous status'

'A blow to BCCI, could hurt autonomous status'

The Supreme Court prefers that the Justice Mudgal panel further investigate the IPL corruption scandal. More »

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Money talks, but it is in light of this ICC shakeup that the ECB's act of soliciting of another team's coach deteriorates from free-market aggression to… More »

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

IPL7, GAME 9—Maxwell (95, 43b), Balaji (4-13) set up 72-run win. More »

Mudgal panel drops bombshell in court

Mudgal panel drops bombshell in court

The Mukul Mudgal probe committee dropped a bombshell in the Supreme Court on Tuesday by making a sensational claim that it was forced to stop audio recording… More »

Farbrace quits for England post

Farbrace quits for England post

He will assist Peter Moores who was unveiled as the new England coach on Saturday. More »

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

Mukul Mudgal has communicated to the court his willingness to take up the investigation and has been asked to specify the terms and modalities on April… More »

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

IPL7, MATCH 8—Raina-led middle order, superlative catching give CSK a 93-run win. More »

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

The former BCCI president says he was "disillusioned" by the happenings at the emergent working committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Pakistan on Monday reappointed Moin Khan as chief selector and manager of the national team, a week after fellow former captain Rashid Latif turned down… More »

Injured Bravo to miss rest of IPL

Injured Bravo to miss rest of IPL

Dwayne Bravo is set to be sidelined for at least four weeks due to a shoulder problem. Bravo sustained the injury when attempting a catch on the boundary… More »

NZC contemplates domestic revamp

NZC contemplates domestic revamp

New Zealand Cricket has put forward a proposal to reinvent its domestic structure and allow up to 49% private investment into the six major associatio… More »

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

The class act from Saurashtra may have to rethink his approach to the mannerless format. More »

Punjab pull off another big chase

Punjab pull off another big chase

GAME 7, SHARJAH—Maxwell, Miller, Pujara chase down Rajasthan's 192. More »

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

The BCCI is likely to convene a special general body meeting (SGM) in May to replace N Srinivasan on the board's disciplinary committee. More »

Roach escapes injury after car crash

Roach escapes injury after car crash

The West Indies fast bowler lost control of his BMW sedan due to slippery road conditions in his native Barbados on Saturday. More »

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Some members stressed on the need for proposing names with an "impeccable record and clean image". More »

Day of Supreme reckoning

Day of Supreme reckoning

Apex court to decide on BCCI’s proposed new committee today. More »

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

The former CBI Director is one of the three candidates proposed by the BCCI to head the enquiry into the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal. More »

Repose faith in Indian coaches

Repose faith in Indian coaches

All of them cost plenty of dollars which I feel is unnecessary for a two- month tournament, says former cricketer Yajurvindra Singh. More »

Cook relieved after period in limbo

Cook relieved after period in limbo

The England captain is looking forward to a fresh start after a dispiriting Ashes defeat last year. More »

[INTERVIEW] Jayawardene and Sangakkara

[INTERVIEW] Jayawardene and Sangakkara

Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara go over their World T20 win, and feel grateful to have fans whose support remains unwavering in victory and de… More »