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Also advancing were No. 14 Maria Kirilenko, who beat China’s Peng Shuai 7-5, 6-2, No. 16 Roberta Vinci and Elena Vesnina, who beat No. 21-seeded Varvara Lepchenko of the United States 6-4, 6-2.

On the men’s side, 2008 Australian final Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Japan’s Go Soeda 6-3, 7-6 (1), 6-3, No. 17 Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany edged Israeli qualifier Amir Weintraub 6-2, 7-6 (4,) 6-4 and Lithuanian qualifier Ricardas Berankis ousted No. 25 Florian Mayer 6-2, 6-3, 6-1.

The lopsided wins for Azarenka and Serena Williams came a day after No. 2-ranked Maria Sharapova recorded her second 6-0, 6-0 win of the tournament.

Sharapova overwhelmed Japan’s Misaki Doi in 47 minutes, even less time than she needed to beat fellow Russian Olga Puchkova two days earlier in her first competitive match of 2013.

The first woman to post back-to-back 6-0, 6-0 wins at a Grand Slam since 1985 next plays seven-time major winner Venus Williams in the third round.

“It’s not really the statistic I want to be known for,” Sharapova said. “I want to be known for winning Grand Slams.”

To Sharapova, her first two wins have been a matter of “getting the job done.” She was recovering from a sore right collarbone that ruled her out of a tuneup event in Brisbane earlier this month.

She skipped the Brisbane tournament last year, also due to injury, and went on to reach the Australian Open final.

Sharapova leads the head-to-head series 4-3 against Venus Williams, but Williams has won both of their Grand Slam meetings.

Numbers don’t mean much to Williams, who is making trip No. “Lucky 13” to Melbourne Park.

She’s still on the comeback trail after missing seven months after the 2011 U.S. Open to deal with Sjogren’s Syndrome.

Now seeded 25th, she dropped only one game in her first-round win and then went down a break early to Alize Cornet of France before winning 6-3, 6-3.

The biggest upset Wednesday was 2011 U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur’s 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 loss to China’s Zheng Jie.

Stosur led 5-2 in the third and wasted two chances to serve out the match, finally giving it away with a double fault on match point.

“It was a bit of a choke,” Stosur said. “Obviously it’s a hard one to take when you get yourself into a winning position and you lose five games straight.”

Story Continues →