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Russia's Maria Sharapova celebrates winning her their third round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in two sets 6-2, 6-1, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, June 2, 2018.Alessandra Tarantino/The Associated Press

Twice champion Maria Sharapova said she was ready for a potential last-16 clash against her long-time rival Serena Williams, who has beaten the Russian in 18 successive encounters dating back to 2005.

“I think any time you play against Serena you know what you’re up against,” Sharapova, who scored a straight sets win over sixth-seeded Karolina Pliskova, told reporters.

“You know, despite the record that I have against her, I always look forward to coming out on the court and competing against the best player.

“By coming out in the match today and beating the No. 6 in the world, I might have the opportunity to do that.”

Williams will face Germany’s Julia Goerges for a round-of-16 spot later on Saturday.

Belgian Elise Mertens, who reached the Australian Open semi-finals earlier this year, produced a sublime display to beat 24th seed Daria Gavrilova 6-3 6-1 in 62 minutes.