Sharapova needed an hour and 38 minutes during the match on Thursday to overcome the feisty Australian, who had upset Spain's Garbiñe Muguruza 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (8-6) in a more than three-hour battle on Wednesday, Efe news reported.
The 40th-ranked Russian dominated with her return game, breaking her opponent on seven occasions and winning 19 of Gavrilova's 22 second-serve points.
Sharapova struggled at times on her own serve - getting broken four times, committing six double faults and winning just 56 per cent of her first-serve points - but her high winning percentage on second-serve points (53 per cent) allowed her to clinch a relatively routine victory.
Even though the victory was not as clean as possible, Sharapova saw the glass as half-full in her post-match interview.
"I just like the way that I'm competing." she was quoted as saying on the WTA's Web site. "I like the way that I feel out there. I think that's really important, you know... I just like the attitude with which I'm playing with."
That match will be the first-ever meeting between two of tennis' most powerful baseline players.
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