Australian Open 2018: Melbourne's extreme heat set to bite

Players fry as Melbourne heatwave continues

Australian Open 2018: Melbourne's extreme heat set to bite

"I'm looking forward to the next challenge".

On Thursday, Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam champion, beat Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) in the second round of the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the season.

"There's a lot of things I need to improve on", said Sharapova, adding, "This is a process".

Novak Djokovic (R) of Serbia and Gael Monfils (L) of France embrace after Djokovic won their second round match at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, 18 January 2018.

The No. 14 seed next plays Next Gen ATP Finals champion Hyeon Chung, who upset fourth seed Alexander Zverev in five sets earlier in the day.

However, the numbers did not tell the full story as both players battled extreme heat in Melbourne, the mercury rising to 42 degrees Celsius at times on Rod Laver Arena, conditions they were critical of post-match.

On the face of it, Djokovic - a six-time victor in Melbourne - enjoyed a comfortable 6-2 6-3 6-3 beating of Ramos-Vinolas.

"I think she plays extremely well when she has a lot of matches behind her back", said Sharapova of Kerber.

The two greats of the game - who have won 11 Australian Opens between them - could meet in the last four if they maintain their winning ways, but both have tricky third-round tests ahead. "My ankle is, I don't know how it is because I don't feel it anymore!"

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The British hope Johanna Konta's love affair with the Australian Open came to an abrupt end when she was defeated by the American Bernarda Pera.

The second set was more competitive, with the duo regularly trading breaks of serve on the way to a tie-break.

Kerber, the 2016 Australian Open champion, had a 6-4, 6-1 win over Donna Vekic before the crowd sang "Happy Birthday" to celebrate her 30th birthday.

Federer may now be 36, but Father Time shows no signs of catching up with the evergreen Swiss, who was a 6-2 7-5 6-4 victor over Gasquet on Rod Laver Arena. "I will try to continue my run and playing good like I played also here like the last two matches". "This has been the single most successful court I've ever played on in my entire career".

World number one Simona Halep was also convincing in her straight demolition of Canadian Eugenie Bouchard.

"I have some figuring out to do, what happens to me in deciding moments in Grand Slams", he said after going down 5-7, 7-6 (7/3), 2-6, 6-3, 6-0. I like to see the way he saved match point.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates beating Donald Young of the United States in their men's singles first round match on day two of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 16, 2018.

On the men's side, Sam Querrey was ousted after losing, 6-4, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-2, to the 80th-ranked Marton Fucsovics.

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