Published: Sun, January 20, 2019
Sports | By Angie Alvarado

Australian Open - Maria Sharapova upsets Caroline Wozniacki in third round

Australian Open - Maria Sharapova upsets Caroline Wozniacki in third round

"I have not played many matches in the past year against top players so it was really rewarding to win that last set. I did all I could and just came up short".

In a clash of former world number one players, the five-times Grand Slam victor will next meet Dane Wozniacki, who eased past Johanna Larsson 6-1 6-3 earlier in the day.

In her 12th appearance at the Australian Open, Wozniacki took just 27 minutes to claim the opening set, getting on top early with a strong service game and impressive court coverage.

And while she was outstanding, and her 6-2 6-1 victory looks impressive on paper, she was forced to dig deep late in the piece as the clock ticked past midnight and Peterson attempted to pressure the towering Russian.

"We were friends when we played juniors, we practised together and stuff, but I don't know how that came to pass", Stephens said of her successful partnership with Babos, which netted three junior grand slam doubles titles in 2010.

The victor will face Tomas Berdych, who rallied to beat Argentine 18th seed Diego Schwartzman 5-7, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4.

The Russian diva served five aces, won an impressive 74 per cent of the points on her second serve and broke Wozniacki on five occasions en route the hard-fought triumph.

A "mild strain" was the official reason offered for Barty's withdrawal, casting doubt over her fitness ahead of Sunday's fourth-round singles showdown with Maria Sharapova.

The 17-year-old American is the youngest player still in contention in the women's draw at Melbourne Park and has dropped just seven games against seeded players in the last two rounds. I feel pretty happy about it. He is winning a lot of matches.

Friday's match was the 11th meeting between the two rivals.

Local favorite Ashleigh Barty has become the first player through to the fourth round at Melbourne Park with a 7-5, 6-1 win over Maria Sakkari at Rod Laver Arena.

The German Wimbledon champion, who lifted the Melbourne trophy in 2016, has had two comfortable wins so far and should have little trouble against the 240th ranked Australian. Sharapova enters this match after winning her second-round fixture in straight sets.

The former world number one also dismissed suggestions that the pressure of entering the tournament as defending champion had weighed on her, insisting she had enjoyed the experience.

Against Wozniacki, Sharapova hung in there in a back-and-forth contest.

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