She now has another chance to finally get the monkey off her back at an Australian Open quarterfinal, after coming through a 7-5, 7-5 thriller against fast-rising Swiss teen Belinda Bencic.
The Russian world number 5, who lost to Williams in the Melbourne Park final last year, said she used the losses against the mighty American to examine what she could do better.
“Absolutely. It’s not like I think about what I can do worse!” she said.
A nonchalant Williams, who rarely looks beyond her next opponent in the draw, claimed she didn’t know Sharapova was now in the way of her bid to win a 22nd Grand Slam and equal Steffi Graf’s Open-era record.
“I had no idea I was playing her next,” she said.
“That will be a good match. I have nothing to lose.”
In the men’s draw, world No1 Novak Djokovic was taken to a fifth set by Frenchman Gilles Simon, eventually prevailing 6-3, 6-7, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
Sixth seed Tomas Berdych was also given a scare by 24th seed Roberto Bautista Agut, but won 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.
Seventeen-time grand slam winner Roger Federer beat David Goffin 6-2, 6-1, 6-4, and seventh seed Kei Nishikori beat ninth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 6-2, 6-4.
Author: Gesture Chidhanguro