Sharapova, Djokovic look to improve as quarters beckon

Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:38am EST
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By Greg Stutchbury

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - The dominant duo of Maria Sharapova and Novak Djokovic are both aware they need to build on their already impressive form as they look to gain quarter-final berths at the Australian Open on Sunday.

Sharapova, who recorded 6-0 6-0 victories in her first two rounds, demolished seven-times grand slam champion Venus Williams in the third round on Friday and meets Belgian Kirsten Flipkens on Rod Laver Arena, still looking to improve.

"I think the reason I started so well in this tournament is because I knew that I had to," Sharapova said in reference to her entering the grand slam without playing a competitive match.

"Considering I didn't play any matches, I'm happy with my form. But, like I said, I'm always looking to improve. That's always my goal."

Sharapova and Flipkens have met just twice before, with the Russian winning both matches, though the last time they played was at Roland Garros in 2010.

"I think this is the best slam that she's done, right, fourth round?" Sharapova asked.

"She's a tricky player, uses her slice really well, and a good athlete as well; moves around the court quite well.

"It's an opponent I really have to look out for.   Continued...