Sharapova-Kerber Highlights 3rd Round Matchups, Muguruza, Konta out

Phillip Cunningham
January 21, 2018

After two comfortable wins the five-time major victor was growing in confidence, but she had no answers for Kerber, who is on a 12-match winning streak in a kind of comeback of her own after a sliding down the rankings past year.

Former world No.1s and ex-Australian Open champions Maria Sharapova of Russian Federation and Angelique Kerber of Germany on Thursday eased past Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova and Croatia's Donna Vekic respectively to set up an intriguing match in the third round of the Australian Open. Chung beat fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev 5-7, 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 six days after a win over No. 32 Mischa Zverev.

Djokovic took a medical timeout in the second set to have his back and legs massaged but appeared to show little ill effects for the rest of the match.

She streaked away with the first set and although 2008 champion Sharapova briefly threatened a fightback after falling behind in the second, it was not to be the Russian's night.

Sharapova only returned to the top 50 two weeks ago and Kerber to the top 20 last week after being on top of the rankings as defending champion in Melbourne a year ago.

Australia's hope of seeing a homegrown Grand Slam champion now rests exclusively on the temperamental shoulders of Nick Kyrgios after women's contender Ashleigh Barty was sent packing by Naomi Osaka. She's always unsafe, especially at the grand slams. I felt the pain all match, but I didn't give up.

It was her 11th win, including the Sydney International title last week.


Kerber, who defeated Donna Vekic 6-4 6-1 in an impressively dominant performance, said: "We both played a lot of good matches in the past". "I was really trying to not think about everything around, about against who I'm playing". Along the way, he has won five of his 19 Grand Slam singles titles.

She sealed the win on her first match point when 76th-ranked Davis fired a forehand into the tramlines, as the hard-hitting American coughed up a mind-boggling 73rd unforced error. My ankle is, I don't know how it is because I don't feel it anymore, but it was nice to be on court.

Sixth seed Karolina Pliskova is also in action, against Lucie Safarova, while eighth seed Caroline Garcia meets unseeded Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

Another unexpected loss at a major had the highly touted Zverev admitting he may have a problem.

Also advancing were 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, No. 19 Tomas Berdych, No. 25 Fabio Fognini, No. 26 Adrian Mannarino and Chung Hyeon.

The Ipswich 21-year-old went down in straight sets 6-4, 6-2, but the numbers don't tell the full story of a game that was a tour de force for the visitor and a shocking anticlimax for Barty, who walked onto Margaret Court Arena accompanied by the hopes of a nation.

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