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Monday, Oct 25th

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Top seed and defending champion Serena Williams stayed on course for a record equaling 22nd Grand Slam title by making light work of Russian challenger Daria Kasatkina in her third round encounter on a wet Friday at the Australian Open.

Williams, who had a rusty start to the tournament on Monday, seems to have hit top form over the course of the week, dropping just 2 games en route to thumping Kasatkina 6-1, 6-1 to book her place in the fourth round. Serena will probably have a succession of Russian opponents coming her way with Margarita Gasparyan her next challenger.

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Top seed and defending champion Serena Williams and the woman she has made a habit of beating over the last decade, Maria Sharapova, stayed on course for a quarter-final showdown at the Australian Open by registering matching wins in the second round at Melbourne today.

Sharapova opened proceedings on Rod Laver Arena and the 5th seed wasted little time in easing past Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus, 6-2. 6-1. It wasn't the perfect performance from Maria, who made a rather high 24 unforced errors over the course of just 15 games, but she still had more than enough in the locker to not break much of a sweat under the closed roof.

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The Czech Republic defended their Fed Cup title and picked up their fourth trophy in five seasons, beating Russia 3-2 in a thrilling final in Zagreb on Sunday.

Maria Sharapova put Russia 2-1 ahead on Sunday, staging an improbable comeback as she battled back from dropping the opening set 6-3 to Petra Kvitova and looking decidedly second best for large periods of the second set, before the two-time Wimbledon champion blew a 40-15 lead on her serve in the 9th game courtesy of two double faults and then faded as the match wore on. Sharapova held serve to win the second set 6-4 and cruised through the decider 6-2 to put Russia in the driver's seat.

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The defending champions of the Fed Cup the Czech Republic are locked 1-1 with challengers Russia in the Final of the tournament, being played on the hard courts of Zagreb.

Petra Kvitova, who was the start of the Czech's campaign last year, battled back from dropping the first set in the opening singles match of the contest to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to win in three lopsided sets, 2-6, 6-1, 6-1.

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The WTA Finals in Singapore will witness two unexpected opponents as two-time Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitova goes up against Agnieszka Radwanska in tomorrow's showpiece final.

Both ladies came into today's semi-finals as second favourites with Spanish world no.3 Garbine Murguruza and Maria Sharapova having won all their round robin matches in the tournament thus far, but when it really mattered the two underdogs stepped up their games and delivered.

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New York City will be missing a huge chunk of its usual amount of September glamour with Russian diva Maria Sharapova announcing late yesterday that she will not play in the US Open.

A champion here in New York in 2006, Sharapova hit the practice courts last week in an effort to get ready for the tournament and was scheduled to play Daria Gavrilova later today, but despite having gone through the pre-tournament media formalities, Maria made a late decision not to play at the US Open due to a nagging knee injury.

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serena_williamsThe stage is set perfectly for legendary American Serena Williams to write another page in the history books as she will attempt to win the 21st Grand Slam title of her career and complete the 'Serena Slam' when she steps on Court on Saturday for the Wimbledon Ladies Singles Final.

In her semi-final encounter with 2004 champion Maria Sharapova today, Serena put in another dominating performance against the Russian diva, quelling her challenge in two very comfortable sets, 6-2, 6-4. Serena broke serve in the very first game of the match to make a statement on who is in-charge out on Centre Court, and a little over an hour later hammered home three aces as she served out the match without any drama.

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