Venus Williams disposed of Alize Cornet in the second round of the Australian Open on Wednesday, winning in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, setting up a colossal third-round clash with No. 2 seed Maria Sharapova.
Williams, the No. 25 seed, was coming off a straight-set victory over Galina Voskoboeva. She was 2-0 against Cornet headed into the showdown in Melbourne, notching straight-set victories both times.
The 32-year-old is vying for her eighth career Grand Slam singles title, but she hasn't won one since Wimbledon 2008.
Last year, Williams didn't participate in the Australian Open. She advanced to the second round of the French Open and the third round of the U.S. Open. And while she was knocked out of the first round at Wimbledon in singles, she won the Wimbledon doubles title with sister Serena.
Williams has never won the Australian Open, but she reached the final in 2003. She has done all of her damage at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
This is the Lynwood native's first tournament of 2013. Despite being slowed by an immune system illness she was diagnosed with in 2011, Williams went 24-9 in singles in 2012, including winning the Luxembourg Open in October. It catapulted her up the women's tennis rankings.
The last time Williams advanced to the third round at the Australian Open, she had to retire from her match with Andrea Petkovic due to injury in 2011. She's battled back since then and hopes to make a greater impact this time around, although the chances are slim given her draw.
Williams isn't the same player she once was, but that doesn't mean she has given up hope on winning another Grand Slam singles title.
What a story it would be if she did.