Maria Sharapova of Russia hits a return to Karin Knapp of Italy during their women's singles match at the Australian Open 2014 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 16, 2014. (REUTERS/David Gray)
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Defending champion Victoria Azarenka breezed into the third round of the Australian Open Thursday in contrast to Maria Sharapova, who survived a big scare in sapping heat.The two-time title-holder crushed Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-1, 6-4 in 88 minutes, benefiting from the roof being shut on center court for her night match after another day of scorching heat.There was no such luck for third seed Sharapova, the 2008 champion, who endured a brutal three-hour marathon against Karin Knapp in temperatures touching 42 Celsius before the tournament's extreme heat policy was enforced.Sharapova is desperate to win a fifth Grand Slam, with her last coming at the French Open in 2012 .Like Azarenka, she benefited from the roof being shut.
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