Maria Sharapova downplays 'easy' early rounds

Maria Sharapova
© PA Photos
Maria Sharapova defends the depth of women's tennis after another convincing win.

Maria Sharapova has defended the depth of women's tennis following a 6-0 6-1 win over Jamie Hampton in the second round of the Australian Open.

The 2008 champion, who was taken to deuce in four of her first six games against Hampton, insists that there are more challenges in the earlier rounds than people realise after defeating Argentinian Gisela Dulko in similar circumstances in round one.

"You never know what you're going to get," she said. "Sometimes we come out and we play three-set matches from the beginning and then it's a question of 'You're top five in the world, why is someone challenging you to three sets from the beginning?'

"I think it's just an excuse to make another story. That's really what it all comes down to.

"My goal is to go into a match and play my game. If I do it well enough and come out winning 6-0, 6-1, then I've done a good job."

Sharapova will now progress to the third round of the competition.

Maria Sharapova
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