Australian Open: Maria Sharapova forced to dig deep in Melbourne
Last Updated: 16/01/14 7:23am
Maria Sharapova: Needed three sets to beat Karin Knapp
Maria Sharapova claimed she had been close to "passing out" during her second-round battle with Karin Knapp at the Australian Open.
Sharapova needed just shy of 210 minutes to record a 6-3 4-6 10-8 victory over the world No 44 on Rod Laver Arena.
However with temperatures reaching 42.4 degrees Celsius - forcing play to suspended on the outer courts - third seed Sharapova admitted it had been a struggle.
"It was tough for both of us and we both fought as hard as we could," said Sharapova.
"I remember being really close to passing out but I'm feeling much better now, I think you just get numb to it.
"Recovery's going to be extremely important but these are the matches you work for and I'm happy to get through."
Sharapova wasn't the only seed to feel the heat in Melbourne, with Caroline Wozniacki, Simona Halep, Carla Suarez Navarro and Alize Cornet all being taken to three sets.
Halep, the 11th seed, recovered from a set down to beat Varvara Lepchenko 4-6 6-0 6-1, while the 16th-ranked Suarez Navarro had to dig deep to overcome Galina Voskoboeva 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 8-6.
Cornet, seeded 25th, suffered a second set wobble but she bounced back to close out a 6-3 4-6 6-4 victory over Camila Giorgi, while No 10 seed Wozniacki saw off Christian McHale 6-0 1-6 6-2.
Agnieszka Radwanska, Dominika Cibulkova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova both racked up straight-set victories to reach the third round.
Fifth-seeded Radwanska stormed to a 6-0 7-5 win over Olga Govortsova, Cibulkova, the 20th seed, dropped just one game as she routed Stefanie Voegele 6-0 6-1, while the No 29 seed Pavlyuchenkova cruised past Mandy Minella 6-2 6-2.