Thursday, 22 August, 2019

Sharapova crashes out of Australian Open

Andrew Wong | 20 January, 2019, 21:52

"I've never known someone to get so many injuries", Channel Nine commentator Sam Smith told Wide World of Sports in the lead up to Sharapova's match with Barty. The fans in attendance in Melbourne also made their feelings known and scorned the 5-time Grand Slam victor.

"I have never quite played in Rod Laver when it's been that full, I think". A four-time finalist at Melbourne Park, she recovered from 4-0 down in the deciding set, forcing Barty to serve it out, and saved three match points in the last game.

Keeping her emotions under control was crucial in the victory over the former world number one Sharapova, as she had to come from a set down, in addition to holding her nerve to serve out the match in the third set.

But despite wasting three match points amid a mini-wobble, Barty - through to her maiden slam quarter-final - held on to become the first Australian woman to reach the last eight in Melbourne since Jelena Dokic in 2009.

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The Australian will play eighth seed Petra Kvitova in the quarter-final.

Sharapova came into this tournament with little tennis behind her in the past four months, but played an excellent first set notable for outstanding defence and combined with piercing attack.

A comeback was always on the cards, and Sharapova almost delivered - recovering from 4-0 down in the deciding set, forcing Barty to serve it out, and saving three match points when she did.

Kvitova, 28, wanted no part of another loss to Anisimova, who beat her a year ago at Indian Wells and was the youngest American since Jennifer Capriati in 1993 to make it this far at Melbourne Park.

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A comeback was always on the cards, and Sharapova almost delivered - recovering from 4-0 down in the deciding set, forcing Barty to serve it out, and saving three match points when she did.

Rising Australian tennis star Ashleigh Barty feels that her time in the Women's Big Bash League for the Brisbane helped improve her as a person and a player. "That kind of threw me off - it was different from my other matches". "I wonder just now that it's banned and you can no longer take it, is it a struggle physically to cope with the demands of a grand slam fortnight?" "We just followed her and now we try to give her back her positive attitude". He next plays No. 2-seeded Rafael Nadal, the 17-time major victor who didn't let Tomas Berdych on the scoreboard for 1 1/2 sets before finishing off a 6-0, 6-1, 7-6 (4) fourth-round win.

Asked about the crowd's reaction and whether it had affected her, Sharapova coldly responded: "What do you want me to say to that question?" "I'm in the quarterfinals, let's see what happens now".

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