Angelique Kerber made an excellent performance to beat Maria Sharapova and ensure herself as a title rival at the Australian Open. The German twenty-first seed won 6-1 6-3 within the much-anticipated night-session clash between the sole 2 former champions left within the draw.
She required simply sixty-four minutes to envision off Sharapova, breaking serve 5 times. Kerber, the 2016 winner, can play Agnieszka Radwanska or Hsieh Su-Wei n the fourth spherical. “I grasp Maria is usually fighting,” aforesaid Kerber. “After the primary set, I used to be attempting to not pondering the score, simply going for it, attempting to be aggressive and taking part in my game. “And it works. It works from the start. I am happy concerning however I contend tonight.”
The 30-year-old is coached by Wim Fissette when the Belgian split with Johanna Konta at the top of last year, and she or he arrived in Melbourne having won the Sydney title. Her speed of foot and talent to come Sharapova’s pace with interest left the Russian troubled from the beginning. A fizzy come at Sharapova’s feet brought a right away break of serve and a roar of “Come on!” followed when a backhand winner took her 3-1 clear. The tougher and blandish Sharapova tried to hit the ball, the faster it came back at her.
Kerber raced through six straight games, taking the primary set in twenty-nine minutes and breaking at the beginning of the second. Sharapova required an assist and she or he got it once Kerber finally created a string of errors at hand the advantage back. It was solely the twenty-first seed’s sensible defense that prevented her falling a chance down at 3-3 as Sharapova vulnerable a sustained challenge.
A clenched fist pump followed that crucial hold and Sharapova’s resistance was broken once and for all, a poor dink and a netlike forehand abandoning the fifth break of serve before Kerber closed it out on her second point.”I assume she contends very well,” aforesaid Sharapova. “She was a lot of aggressive players. She took plenty a lot of risks than I did.”
Sharapova had come back to the Australian Open for the primary time since failing a doping take a look at in Melbourne 2 years past, that brought with it a 15-month ban. “There’s plenty of things I would like to boost on,” side the globe variety forty-eight. “This could be a method. it is a heap of things that take time. “To be ready to get these matches, players that are taking part in this well, I am attending to face plenty of them this year. I will need to bring it.