Australia Open: Sharapova crashes, Djokovic, Federer move on

By Editor on 20/01/2018

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Djokovic receiving treatment midway into the clash

After Caroline Wozniacki fended off a pair of match points and rallied from 1-5 in the third set against little known Croatian Jana Fett on Wednesday, world No. 1 Simona Halep saved three against Lauren Davis in a 4-6 6-4 15-13 classic that was no less dramatic Saturday.
Maria Sharapova couldn't escape later, ousted by tennis' most in-form player, Angelique Kerber. Many thought that match would be a classic too but the twice grand slam champion needed only 64 minutes to dispatch Sharapova 6-1 6-3.

The German 21st seed won 6-1 6-3 in the much-anticipated night-session clash between the only two former champions left in the draw.

She needed just 64 minutes to see off Sharapova, breaking serve five times.

Kerber, the 2016 winner, will play Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei, ranked 88th in the world, in the fourth round.

The 30-year-old is coached by Wim Fissette after the Belgian split with Johanna Konta at the end of last year, and she arrived in Melbourne having won the Sydney title.

Her speed of foot and ability to return Sharapova's pace with interest left the Russian struggling from the outset.

A fizzing return at Sharapova's feet brought an immediate break of serve and a roar of "Come on!" followed after a backhand winner took her 3-1 clear.

The harder and flatter Sharapova tried to hit the ball, the quicker it came back at her.

Kerber raced through six straight games, taking the first set in 29 minutes and breaking at the start of the second.

Sharapova needed a helping hand and she got it when Kerber finally made a string of errors to hand the advantage back.

It was only the 21st seed's brilliant defence that prevented her falling a break down at 3-3 as Sharapova threatened a sustained challenge.

A fist pump followed that crucial hold and Sharapova's resistance was broken once and for all, a poor drop shot and a netted forehand giving up a fifth break of serve before Kerber closed it out on her second match point.

Maria Sharapova and Angelique KerberSharapova shakes Kerber

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic both reached round four of the Australian Open with straight-set wins - although the Serb suffered an injury scare.

Switzerland's five-time champion Federer beat Richard Gasquet 6-2 7-5 6-4 to progress to the last 16.

Six-time winner Djokovic had treatment on his lower back and leg but saw off Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-2 6-3 6-3.

"It's nothing major to be concerned about. It's things that surface every day. I guess it's normal," he said.

Djokovic, 30, is playing in his first event since Wimbledon last year after a six-month lay-off with an elbow injury.

Despite the convincing scoreline he was not at his best on Margaret Court Arena and was often frustrated on court.

However, he closed out the match in two hours, 23 minutes and progresses to face 21-year-old South Korean Hyeon Chung, who is making his first appearance in the last 16 of a Grand Slam.

There were early opportunities on the Djokovic serve for Ramos-Vinolas, but the Spaniard was the first to be broken, in the fourth game, as the Serb took the first set.

At points it looked like a regulation match for Djokovic but concerns for his chances were raised when he called for the trainer with the score 2-1 in the second set.

He continued to hobble and stretch his left leg following the treatment but fought off four break points for Vinolas-Ramos at 4-2 in the second set to maintain his advantage, after which the match always looked to be going in Djokovic's favour.

"These kind of circumstances in which I'm in at the moment are quite different," added Djokovic.

"I've never faced a situation where I didn't compete six months.

"That's why I'm kind of forced to be very cautious of what happens day-to-day, be dedicated to my body and training."

Federer, 36, comfortably extended his record over Gasquet to 17-2, with the Frenchman only ever having beaten the 19-time Grand Slam champion on clay.

Gasquet, 31, was behind almost immediately in Saturday's night session and failed to muster a single break point until late in the third set, when he clawed his way back to 4-4.

Federer slammed the door shut on any sustained comeback, however, clinching victory with a brilliant return game after one hour and 59 minutes with two backhand winners.

"I was able to maybe stay a little more on the offensive than he was," said the Swiss.

"The second set was tight, the match was close and the end could have gone to a tie-break."

The defending champion will face Hungarian world number 80 Marton Fucsovics in the last 16.

Kerber

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic both reached round four of the Australian Open with straight-set wins - although the Serb suffered an injury scare.

Switzerland's five-time champion Federer beat Richard Gasquet 6-2 7-5 6-4 to progress to the last 16.

Six-time winner Djokovic had treatment on his lower back and leg but saw off Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-2 6-3 6-3.

"It's nothing major to be concerned about. It's things that surface every day. I guess it's normal," he said.

Djokovic, 30, is playing in his first event since Wimbledon last year after a six-month lay-off with an elbow injury.

Despite the convincing scoreline he was not at his best on Margaret Court Arena and was often frustrated on court.

However, he closed out the match in two hours, 23 minutes and progresses to face 21-year-old South Korean Hyeon Chung, who is making his first appearance in the last 16 of a Grand Slam.

There were early opportunities on the Djokovic serve for Ramos-Vinolas, but the Spaniard was the first to be broken, in the fourth game, as the Serb took the first set.

At points it looked like a regulation match for Djokovic but concerns for his chances were raised when he called for the trainer with the score 2-1 in the second set.

He continued to hobble and stretch his left leg following the treatment but fought off four break points for Vinolas-Ramos at 4-2 in the second set to maintain his advantage, after which the match always looked to be going in Djokovic's favour.

"These kind of circumstances in which I'm in at the moment are quite different," added Djokovic.

"I've never faced a situation where I didn't compete six months.

"That's why I'm kind of forced to be very cautious of what happens day-to-day, be dedicated to my body and training."

Gasquet fails to halt losing streak

Federer, 36, comfortably extended his record over Gasquet to 17-2, with the Frenchman only ever having beaten the 19-time Grand Slam champion on clay.

Gasquet, 31, was behind almost immediately in Saturday's night session and failed to muster a single break point until late in the third set, when he clawed his way back to 4-4.

Federer slammed the door shut on any sustained comeback, however, clinching victory with a brilliant return game after one hour and 59 minutes with two backhand winners.

"I was able to maybe stay a little more on the offensive than he was," said the Swiss.

"The second set was tight, the match was close and the end could have gone to a tie-break."

The defending champion will face Hungarian world number 80 Marton Fucsovics in the last 16.

 

Source BBC

Posted on January, 20 2018

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