sunny.png
Thursday October 17th, 2019 11:25AM

Defending champ gone: Sharapova ousts Wozniacki in Australia

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Maria Sharapova smacked a forehand winner — the sort she's hit so many times, at so many key moments, over the years — to take control against defending champion Caroline Wozniacki at the Australian Open. Sharapova balled up her fists, shut her eyes, threw back her head and let out a yell.

She showed she's ready to be a Grand Slam factor once again.

Sharapova grabbed the last four games to eliminate Wozniacki 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in nearly 2½ hours Friday and reach the fourth round at Melbourne Park, building the statement-making victory with aggressive groundstrokes that gave her a 37-10 edge in total winners.

"I haven't played many matches in the last year, especially against top players," Sharapova said. "And these are the kinds of matches I train for."

She cut her 2018 season short in September because of problems with her surgically repaired right shoulder.

Sharapova is seeded only 30th at Melbourne Park, where she won the 2008 title for one of her five Grand Slam trophies but hasn't been past the quarterfinals since 2015.

The 31-year-old Russian 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.

Wozniacki was the No. 3 seed in Australia, a year after beating Simona Halep in the final to claim her first major championship.

Next for Sharapova is a matchup against Australia's Ash Barty, who beat Maria Sakkari 7-5, 6-1 to equal her best showing at any major tournament.

"I know," Sharapova said, "it's going to be a tough crowd."

No. 15-seeded Barty took two nearly years off from the tennis tour after the 2014 U.S. Open and played cricket during that time.

"Her story is phenomenal," Sharapova said. "I know she took a little break and came back and just resurged."

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

Wozniacki led 3-2 in the third set after holding at love. But Sharapova finally gained the upper hand with a break for a 4-3 lead, clinched with that big forehand she was so excited about.

After holding to go up 5-3, Sharapova broke yet again to end it, closing with a big cross-court backhand.

"The level was quite high," Sharapaova said. "I knew I was going to get a tough match."

___

Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

___

More AP Tennis: https://www.apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Tennis, AP Sports - Women's Tennis
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Defending champ gone: Sharapova ousts Wozniacki in Australia
Maria Sharapova eliminated defending champion Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to reach the Australian Open's fourth round
2:18AM ( 15 minutes ago )
The Latest: 2018 champion Wozniacki ousted by Sharapova
Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki is out of the Australian Open after losing 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to Maria Sharapova in the third round
2:14AM ( 20 minutes ago )
Watchdog: Thousands more children may have been separated
Government investigators say thousands more migrant children may have been separated from their parents than previously reported
2:13AM ( 20 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
17-year-old American Anisimova impresses at Australian Open
All of 17, never the winner of a Grand Slam match until this week, Amanda Anisimova is making quite a first impression at the Australian Open
1:14AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP source: Ottavino, Yankees agree to $27M, 3-year contract
AP source: Reliever Adam Ottavino, New York Yankees agree to $27 million, 3-year contract
12:40AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Federer still a Kyrgios fan at Australian Open
Roger Federer is still a fan of Nick Kyrgios, who was in the commentary booth after an early exit at the season's first major and swirling controversy in Australian men's tennis
12:19AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
The Latest: Federer hits a hundred at Australian Open
Federer ensured his 100th Australian Open match was over quickly and then raised his racket to acknowledge the Rod Laver Arena crowd after a 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 win over 21-year-old American Taylor Fritz
10:51PM ( 3 hours ago )
All Greek to him: Tsitsipas rides crowd support to 4th round
Stefanos Tsitsipas has reached the fourth round at the Australian Open, going where no Greek man has gone before at the majors but still feeling right at home. The No. 14-seeded Tsitsipas had a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7), 6-4 win over No. 19 Nikoloz Basilashvili
10:43PM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: Tsitsipas advances to 4th round at Aussie Open
Stefanos Tsitsipas is through to the fourth round at the Australian Open with a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7), 6-4 win over Nikoloz Basilashvili
10:18PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online Tennis
The Latest: Muguruza, Konta to 3rd set after 12:30 am start
Garbine Muguruza and Johanna Konta are working overtime at the Australian Open _ heading to a third set in a match believed to have had the latest starting time in tournament history
10:35AM ( 15 hours ago )
The Latest: Djokovic tops Tsonga in '08 Aussie final redo
Top-seeded Novak Djokovic beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 to reach the Australian Open's third round in a rematch of their 2008 final at Melbourne Park
9:08AM ( 17 hours ago )
The Latest: Zverev beats Chardy in late finish in Australia
Fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev served 29 aces in a late-finishing 7-6 (5), 6-4, 5-7, 6-7 (6), 6-1 win over Jeremy Chardy to reach the third round of the Australian Open
8:28AM ( 18 hours ago )
AP Sports - Women's Tennis
The Latest: 2018 champion Wozniacki ousted by Sharapova
Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki is out of the Australian Open after losing 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to Maria Sharapova in the third round
2:14AM ( 20 minutes ago )
Watchdog: Thousands more children may have been separated
Government investigators say thousands more migrant children may have been separated from their parents than previously reported
2:13AM ( 20 minutes ago )
Kuzma scores 32 as Lakers top Thunder in OT without LeBron
Kuzma scores 32 as Lakers top Thunder 138-128 in OT without LeBron
2:12AM ( 21 minutes ago )
Thousands expected at memorial for slain California officer
Police officers from across the country are expected at memorial service for a 22-year-old rookie who was shot and killed after responding to a traffic accident in a California college town
2:00AM ( 33 minutes ago )
Ukrainian teen who plays Serena next saw this matchup coming
Serena Williams' next Australian Open opponent, 18-year-old Dayana Yastremska, feels as if she saw this matchup coming a decade ago
1:48AM ( 45 minutes ago )