Confidence growing for Sharapova


Maria Sharapova feels she is growing in confidence at the Australian Open after cruising into the third round.

The Russian fifth seed comfortably beat Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2 6-1 on Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday.

Sharapova has dropped just seven games in her opening two matches in Melbourne despite heading into the year's first grand slam without a competitive match under her belt in 2016 due to a forearm injury.

The five-time grand slam champion said she was slowly putting the injury concern behind her.

"I feel pretty good. I felt I was more confident with my left hand today," Sharapova said.

"That's always something that especially when it's like in the hand/wrist area, it's in the back of your mind even though you're [not] feeling it.

"I felt really good and confident today about it."

Sharapova, who will face American Lauren Davis in the third round, said she was working on adding more drop-shots to her game.

The 28-year-old said it was not yet a major part of her approach, but that could change.

"It's not my A game, that's for sure. It's something that I want to add and I want to move forward, and I think it's just a few things that you try to improve," Sharapova said.

"Also something with a new coach that even though we worked for two years, little by little you work on things and they don't just show up in a week's time.

"It takes time to get comfortable and confident with the things you work on."