Octubre 23, 2020

Kerber thumps Sharapova in third round — Australian Open

27 Enero 2018, 03:34 | Cornelio Vivanco

Kerber thumps Sharapova in third round — Australian Open

Angelique Kerber makes a backhand return during her straight-set win over Anna Lena Friedsam during their first-round match in Melbourne Australia

"Every point was just super long".

In a third-round match against Angelique Kerber that was hyped as being worthy of a final, only one player competed at a championship level.

Sharapova, who returned from her 15-month suspension last year unranked, similarly embraces the opportunity to test her form against the game's best. The fairytale had gone sour.

Kerber had warmed up to the tournament in the best of manner with win in Sydney International and Kerber has brought the same confidence and power to the Melbourne Park.

World number one Simona Halep, who was unconvincing in her first round encounter, takes on Canadian Eugenie Bouchard. I was consistent but I was looking to come forward.

"This is a process". He's speaking German, so that was actually my first choice.

But with temperatures touching an energy-sapping 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) and ice-towels in use, third seed Garbine Muguruza and 2014 winner Stan Wawrinka both wilted and were knocked out.

Maria Sharapova has stormed her way into the third round of the Australian open after an emphatic 6-1, 7-6 (4) win over 14th seed Anastasija Sevastova.

In Melbourne, she has mowed down opponents as if to wipe off the haunting memories of 2017 in a flash.

As for how far she can go in the tournament, the 2008 champion feels she still has a distance to travel to rediscover grand slam-winning form. The latter leads her lower-ranked opponent 4-3 when it comes to head-to-head meetings, having won their last two meetings. But Sharapova, whatever anyone thinks of her, is both a warrior and a worker. "We know it can be very hot here in Australia". The rationale: this will breed more first round upsets and more competitive matches. Her aggressive, but ever in control, baseline painted Sharapova in a corner.

The risk, of course, is that Kerber starts hearing that chorus so often that she begins to think too hard again instead of just reacting and hustling and letting her beautiful game flow.

Monfils seemed on his way to break the spell as he seized on the three break points he had to seal the first set, which saw his serve broken twice.

Taiwanese veteran Hsieh Su-wei reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam for only the second time when she rolled past Agnieszka Radwanska. There is no doubt that all eyes will be on the Kerber-Sharapova match this weekend.

The final set lasted 142 minutes before Halep finally served out the match at the fourth attempt.

"On a day like today, what do you do - do you stop all matches?" the world No.2 said.

In the end analysis, the Russian had made 27 unforced errors to Kerber's seven.

Given the wobbles endured by the top seeds this week and the wide open nature of the draw, Kerber is fast establishing herself as the title favourite. "So long. I never played a third set so long".

Seeking a record seventh title in Melbourne, Djokovic is set to take on Chung Hyeon of South Korea, who stunned Germany's Alexander Zverev 5-7, 7-6 (7-3), 2-6, 6-3, 6-0.

Djokovic faced a veritable threat of break in the fifth game that lasted almost ten minutes.

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