Cheeky Sharapova reveals bedroom antics
A side effect of not playing much for Maria Sharapova is the likelihood of having to face highly ranked rivals in the first week of a major.
It doesn't come much tougher in the third round than a match against the defending champion Caroline Wozniacki.
But while The Dane's match finished in the afternoon, Sharapova was on court a half-hour past midnight, having waited for a five-set men's match to finish.
"It'll be a tough one but I've set up the challenge - willing to go out there and take it," Sharapova told the crowd, after reminding them it was well past her bed time.
Not that it mattered, the cheeky Russian said her other half had a habit of keeping her up past bedtime.
So what is bedtime? "10:30. Like in bed at 10:00," she said. "Sleep by 10:30. My boyfriend challenges it quite a lot, but 10:30 is my time."
Sharapova dropped just three games in her straight-sets demolition of Sweden's Rebecca Peterson.
Sharapova was rarely tested on her own serve, offering up zero break points as she zeroed in on her powerful serve.
And while she was outstanding, and her 6-2 6-1 victory looks impressive on paper, she was forced to dig deep late in the piece as the clock ticked past midnight and Peterson attempted to pressure the towering Russian.
Kerber skips tricky banana skin
Second seed Angelique Kerber will be glad to have this one behind her.
On paper it was not much of a match-up, Kerber the 2016 Australian Open winner and reigning Wimbledon champion against a 22-year-old Brazilian who missed the latter part of 2018 with a back injury and surgery.
Beatriz Haddad Maia is also 193 places below Kerber in the women's rankings but, fair play to her, you would never have known it.
Lefties both, Haddad Maia pounded away with an increasingly greater force of shot and had the German on the hop but, crucially, over egged her final drive too often.
It was the difference between a champion and a wannabe, Kerber hanging in and letting her opponent make the mistakes time after time in their first ever meeting. She eventually won 6-2 6-3.
We saw too the unusual squatting posture Kerber adopts when the ball lands too close to her and she swats away, all body movement and no feet.
A signature stroke, it is effective almost always even if she seems perennially on the verge of toppling over. Simply, she does what it takes.
An even less well known face is up next for Kerber - and on her 31st birthday too - 249 ranked Kimberley Birrell, who saw off the seeded Donna Vekic earlier.
"I saw her match today a little bit, she played really well," Kerber said of the Aussie.
"I think we will enjoy the next round."
Kerber may be a match too far for Birrell but she will not be the only player to feel that this tournament.
Wozniacki loses just four games
Caroline Wozniacki maintained her aggressive start to the defence of her Australian Open crown to charge into the third round at Melbourne Park.
The No.3 seed needed only an hour and six minutes to dispatch unseeded Swede Johanna Larsson in straight sets 6-1 6-3 on Margaret Court Arena.
In her 12th appearance at the Australian Open, Wozniacki took just 27 minutes to claim the opening set, getting on top early with a strong service game and impressive court coverage.
Larsson served to take the opening game of the second set, in which she showed some more resistance, but her unforced error count (26-12) proved costly.
Wozniacki said she endeavoured to maintain an attacking edge to her game.
"I thought I started off pretty well, I started off very aggressively, I served really well,'' Wozniacki said.
"Then she started making less errors, she started playing it deep, coming into the net, it threw me off a little bit off my timing.
"I was just trying to stay consistent and stay as aggressive as I could in the end. I think I served well when I had to.''
Wozniacki delivered the fairytale story of last year's Australian Open when she claimed her breakthrough grand slam title at her 43rd major event.
The 28-year-old Dane said she had been buoyed returning to Melbourne Park as the defending champion.
"It feels amazing. I just felt at home straight away as I got here, it just felt amazing to be back,'' Wozniacki said.
"I have to be out there and play my best in the next match and that's really it. If I play my best then I'm hard to beat.''
In other games, No.11 seed Aryna Sabalenka, from Belarus, advanced to the third round for the first time with a 6-3 6-4 win over Great Britain's Katie Boulter.