US Open: Maria Sharapova, Venus Williams Advance to Third Round

Sharapova has a clear path to the semi-finals, where she could meet tournament favourite Garbine Muguruza of Spain.

1 min read

Maria Sharapova, of Russia, reacts after beating Timea Babos, of Hungary, during the second round of the US Open tennis tournament.

Maria Sharapova extended her grand slam comeback when the former world number one defeated Hungary's Timea Babos 6-7(4) 6-4 6-1 on Wednesday to advance to the third round of US Open.

The Russian, in her first appearance at a major since she returned from a 15-month doping ban in April, did not have the same inspiration that helped her beat world number two Simona Halep in the opening round.

Venus Williams made short work of her second-round opponent at the US Open on Wednesday. Williams, the ninth seed, took down Oceane Dodin in straight sets, winning, 7-5, 6-4.

Sharapova, who was granted a wildcard entry to the tournament, made too many unforced errors in a scrappy first set that featured six breaks of serve.

Once she found her groove midway through the second set, the 30-year-old tossed Babos aside in a one-sided decider.

The Hungarian bowed out on the second match point when she sailed a backhand long, triggering a huge roar on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The Russian has a clear path to the semi-finals, where she could meet tournament favourite Garbine Muguruza of Spain.

Ninth seed Venus Williams recorded 32 winners on her way to the second round win over France's Dodin. The 37-year-old Williams got broken while serving for each set but played well enough to hold off her big-hitting and much younger opponent.

Notably, Williams has reached the third round for the seventh Grand Slam tournament in a row.

She has won two of her seven major titles at Flushing Meadows, back in 2000 and 2001.

(With inputs from Reuters and AP)

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