Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

Defending champ gone: Sharapova ousts Wozniacki in Australia

Sharapova will take on Wozniacki Sharapova will take on Wozniacki
Cassandra Castillo | 19 January, 2019, 07:38

Unforced errors allowed Sharapova to rattle off five games in a row, breaking Wozniacki twice in the process, to snatch the first set from under the nose of her opponent with a flurry of ferocious serves.

"These are the types of matches I train for so it's really rewarding to win that last point". "I know she took a little break and came back and just resurged". I'm just really happy and proud of the way I competed today and I'm into the fourth round.

Sharapova missed the tournament in 2017 during a 15-month doping suspension that was triggered by a positive doping test during the previous year's Australian Open.

Sharapova, a four-time finalist at Melbourne Park, will face Australian No.1 Ash Barty for a place in the quarterfinals on Sunday.

With a calm love hold, Sharapova earned a match point at 5-3, but couldn't convert after a long rally. "I don't pull those out often", she said, indicating to her tee.

The third seed broke in the final game of the second to level, Sharapova edging a tight third in Melbourne.

More news: Australian Open match ends at 3am after weird bird poo fiasco

"I think he improved a lot during the last three years. In a match like that against a player that moves well, I'm not necessarily expecting to hit winners left and right, even if that would be nice - free points feel good - but that's not what you have to expect".

Seventeen-year-old Amanda Anisimova, meanwhile, became the youngest American to reach the fourth round of a major since Serena Williams at Roland Garros in 1998.

"This is an unreal feeling", Anisimova said in an on-court interview.

Also Friday, No. 5 Sloane Stephens survived two tough tiebreak sets to beat No. 31 Petra Martic 7-6, 7-6.

"I mean, I think our terms are the same as they have always been", said Wozniacki, who was critical of Sharapova following her 2016 drug ban.

Wozniacki was among the players most critical of the Russian being given wildcards to ease her return from suspension and when she lobbied against Sharapova receiving one for the French Open - which was ultimately refused - Sharapova's agent Max Eisenbud described her as a journeyman who was fearful of his client preventing her from winning a Grand Slam.

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