Maria Sharapova screams into third round

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The Independent Online

Maria Sharapova may have left Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano with permanent ear damage after screaming her way to a 7-6 6-3 second round victory at the Australian Open today.

Wailing like a banshee on virtually every point, the former world number one took a shade over two hours to advance after an error-strewn performance arguably more memorable for its volume levels.

"It was my first time to play her and I didn't know she cried like this," Razzano told Reuters, referring to Sharapova's deafening shrieks. "It was difficult, but I got used to it."

Sharapova spotted Razzano a 3-0 head-start before pegging her back and finally taking the first set on a tiebreak 7-3.

The 2008 Melbourne champion pumped her fists shrieking "Come on!" after pounding down a big serve to win the breaker, but the Russian's erratic play continued in the second set.

The 14th seed roared with relief when she belted a forehand crosscourt to take a 5-3 lead and threatened to break the sound barrier when she fired down another huge serve to seal victory.

"Obviously you want to play faster matches but it's also good to play tough matches where you have to find a way to win," said Sharapova after a minor panic over a misplaced handbag.

"It was definitely a slow start but I stayed tough in the end which is the important thing. I really needed to step it up and that was gratifying."

Sharapova, still struggling to find her top form since shoulder surgery in late 2008, will next play Germany's Julia Goerges, who wears the Russian's tennis fashion designs.

"This is a different stage in my career," said the three-times grand slam champion. "I've been there, I've been number one, I've won grand slams.

"This is a stage where I'm trying to find my groove after being gone for a while. It's just a matter of being in your own zone and not feeling you need to prove something."