Originally posted on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 1/18/13
On a day when conversation was, inevitably, dominated by the sins of cyclist Lance Armstrong, Sam Querrey's decisive, if honorable, defeat at the hands of Stan Wawrinka by 7-6(8), 7-5, 6-4 meant that there were no American men left in the Australian Open draw after round three. But at least Venus Williams' 6-1, 6-3 loss to Maria Sharapova did not have such dire consequences. She is not even the last member of her family in the draw. Nevertheless, it was a disappointing performance from the older Williams sister who went down to a player at the top of her game. If Sharapova was concerned about having to enter this Grand Slam with no tournament practice after being forced to pull out of the WTA event in Brisbane with a collar-bone injury, the Russian answered it in the most decisive fashion. By the time she led Venus 4-0 in the first set, Maria had won her first 28 games following double bagels in both her opening matches. It is an Open-era record and could stand for some time. Ven...
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