Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova needs to come up with a good game to defeat Zarina Diyas n the third round of the Australian OpenReuters

Maria Sharapova is set to meet Zarina Diyas in the third round of the Australian Open at the Rod Laver Arena.

The Russian came very close to exiting from the second round of the competition, before she defeated fellow countrywoman Alexandra Panova in a gruelling encounter, which was stretched to three sets.

Sharapova finally won 6-1, 4-6, 7-5, but her heart must have been in her mouth as Panova took the third set to 5-5.

After the game was over, it was a huge relief for the second seed.

"Well, certainly [was a relief], after being a point away from going out," said Sharapova. "At the end of the day it's always nice to come through a challenge like that. That's the biggest positive out of the match.''

But the former world number has taken some positives from the game, which will be handy with the competition expected to be much tougher in future rounds as well.

''Just the fact that you did pull through and that you're giving yourself a chance to keep going," she said. "You know, as I say, you never know how you're going to feel until you go out on the court and compete and play.'

''No matter how you prepare, what you did, once you get out there, everything starts from scratch. It was a tough day, but I pulled through. I guess at this point that's what matters. Certainly gives me a lot amount of confidence that I didn't play my best tennis and was able to come through. Sometimes that's good.''

Sharapova's opponent, Zarina Diyas, the 31st seed in the competition, en route to the third round, has already played two three setters, in both her matches.

She defeated Urszula Radwańska in the first round with the score reading, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 and won her second round match against Slovakia's Anna Schmiedlova, 3-6, 6-2, 8-6.

Such a comeback in both the games from a set down reflects Zarina Diyas' character.

The Kazakhstan player has nothing to lose against her more high-profile opponent.

Where to Watch Live

Sharapova vs Diyas will be shown live on Sony Six and Sony Six HD and will start at 7 pm local time (1.30 pm IST, 8 am GMT, 3 am ET). Viewers in India can also catch all the match live on

Audience across the world can also watch Sharapova vs Diyas live on the Australian Open website's live option.

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