Broken in the first game to start the match, Sharapova never got back on track as Kerber took just 64 minutes on her way to deliver an easy 6-1, 6-3 win.
That the only Australian Open singles champions in the draw are meeting in a third-round match despite each being in the prime of their athletic life speaks volumes about the recent unpredictability of the WTA.
Sharapova should be concerned.
It's another thing to be completely crushed, which was the case with Sharapova.
"I think that was a good test for him".
The Swiss defending champion headlines Rod Laver Arena in the evening, with the 19-time Grand Slam victor tackling France's Richard Gasquet.
Sharapova won here in Australian in 2008, capping a string of three Grand Slam championships in a five-year period.
The 36-year-old Swiss maestro is yet to drop a set in his quest for an incredible 20th Grand Slam title.
World No. 1 looked good despite a left ankle injury in her last round win over Eugenie Bouchard.
"It's just the beginning of the year, but I'm feeling the tennis again", she said. Both Kerber and Sharapova are healthy, playing well and bringing a rich competitive history to the fray.
Under the lights at Rod Laver Arena, Kerber's forehand did all the damage for Sharapova, who is still trying to find her feet in the women's singles after a 15-month doping ban.
"I usually look forward to resting in the first week of November, so I've got a long way to go until then", she added. "She was the more aggressive player". Sharapova's opponent Saturday, Kerber, is also 30.
"I thought it's over at that moment", said Halep of the match points. That would have served as an excuse early after she returned last April in Stuttgart, Germany.
Kerber had a standout 2016 when she won in Australia, beating Serena Williams in the final, to become the first German since Steffi Graf in 1999 to claim a Grand Slam.
"I know there's nothing that can replicate playing tournaments and playing matches, no matter what you do, no matter how you train, no matter how you practice", she said.
The win was a relief for Djokovic, who says he's still not 100 percent after six months off the tour with an injured right elbow and who lost in a second-round shocker here a year ago. I was watching this tournament a year ago with a box of Kleenex next to me, sick.
"Today was not enough (but). looking at the overall picture, there's a lot to build from".