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Djokovic, Sharapova show top form

sports Updated: Jan 17, 2013 01:13 IST

Defending champion Novak Djokovic oozed class in an awesome performance at the Australian Open Wednesday as Maria Sharapova stormed into the third round without dropping a game.

Djokovic, up last on centre court and chasing the first Australian Open hat-trick since the 1960s, wasted little time in dispatching America’s Harrison, who was never close to taking his first ever set off the Serb.

The world number one, handed an uncomplicated draw after the withdrawal of Rafael Nadal, was irresistible as he blew away Harrison 6-1, 6-2, 6-3, but afterwards he spared a thought for his floundering opponent.

"It’s a pity for him, I don’t think he played his best. It’s probably just the occasion, playing on centre court," Djokovic said.

With Roger Federer and Andy Murray both playing on Thursday, David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych also pressed their outside claims as they reached the third round, along with 2006 finalist Marcos Baghdatis and Japan’s Kei Nishikori.

And as women’s pre-tournament favourite Serena Williams, a day after rolling her ankle, skipped a public practice session, Sharapova showed why she must be taken seriously for her second Australian Open title.

Sharapova had been flawless in her 6-0, 6-0 opener against Olga Puchkova, and she remarkably repeated the scoreline — a feat not achieved at a Grand Slam since 1985 — against Japan’s Misaki Doi.