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Kerber crushes Sharapova at Australian Open

Kerber crushes Sharapova at Australian Open”

The final set lasted two hours and 22 minutes while the 48 games equals the most for a women's match in Australian Open history, tying the 1996 quarter-final between Chanda Rubin Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, which Rubin won 6-4 2-6 16-14.

In addition, she's recovered the first break deficit in sets nearly 70% - a world class figure - in the last two years, compared to Kerber's 50%, and in what is likely to be a very competitive match, I'd much rather have Sharapova's incredible will to win on my side.

It was the most anticipated match of the tournament so far but Kerber carried on the tremendous form she has shown to start the season and romped to a 6-1 6-3 victory in just 64 minutes.

Kerber will next be up against either of Hsieh Su-wei of Agnieszka Radwanska.

"I'm just so happy it's 2018 and not 2017 anymore", Kerber was quoted as saying by the tournament website after beating the former World number one. I had a lot in the last few weeks.

Born in the same year of the Australian Open's debut at Melbourne Park, Kerber soaked up a birthday serenade from the terraces during her post-match interview on the court.

The Russian simply could not find the consistency to match Kerber's excellence and the 21st seed did not falter, raising her arms in the air with glee after Sharapova pulled a backhand well wide, her 26th unforced error.

But on her return to Rod Laver Arena, there was nothing frosty about the centre court crowd as she waved to the terraces following her one hour and 20-minute win over Sevastova.

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The 30-year-old, a champion in Melbourne in 2008, was beaten in straight sets by the impressive Kerber on Saturday. It's fine. I finished the match.

"So, you know, I feel like I transported myself into the TV this year and I'm finding myself on Rod Laver Arena competing".

Maria Sharapova said she wanted to play Grand Slam champions to see where she was - but when she got a look on Saturday in Melbourne, she didn't particularly like the results.

"I'm really excited. I definitely feel I'm playing well", said Keys, who was one of only three Americans to make the round of 32. I'm nearly dead. I have no idea how much I run, I just know that my muscles are gone. The second set was much more comfortable as she held serve and took the two chances to break she presented to seal the win.

In other women's third-round matches, sixth-seeded Karolina Pliskova beat Lucie Safarova 7-6 (6), 7-5 and No. 8 Caroline Garcia beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-3, 5-7, 6-2.

"I think she plays extremely well when she has a lot of matches behind her back", Sharapova said. "I had a really tough off-season, really happy to be here playing against the best players".

She will play American 17th seed and 2017 US Open runner-up Madison Keys who progressed with a 6-3 6-4 win over Romania's Ana Bogdan.



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