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11:39 am - Friday July 1, 2016

Sharapova sparkles after Kerber crash in Melbourne


Sharapova sparkles after Kerber crash in MelbourneAgencies, Melbourne Maria Sharapova continued tocarve through the Australian Open draw with ruthless efficiency today but fifth seed Angelique Kerber crashed out as the heavy grind of the tournament”s first week began to take its toll.

Sharapova was held up briefly when her serve deserted her in the first set but remained firmly fixed on her goal and beat Belgian Kirsten Flipkens 6-0 6-1 to reach the quarter-finals, having conceded just five games. ”It”s really about keeping your focus, no matter what the score is, no matter if you”re up,” said 2008 Australian Open champion Sharapova. Ferrer into quarters, still doubts title chances David Ferrer thought his fourth round victory over Japan”s Kei Nishikori was one of the best matches of his Australian Open career, yet the Spaniard was still racked with doubt that he could go on to win the title next week. Baseline hustler Ferrer took full advantage of Nishikori”s lingering knee injury today, working him around the court and waiting for the 23-year-old to make one of his 65 errors.

Although the Japanese number one made it difficult, the fourth seed closed out a 6-2 6-1 6-4 victory. ”I played very good, one of the best matches on my career in Australian Open,” the fourth seed told reporters. ”Nishikori is a very great player. I think he”s going to be top-10. ”He has everything … (and) the result, it was in threesets, but the game, it was very, very difficult.” Djokovic still has edge over Murray – Wilander Andy Murray”s breakthrough win at the US Open was reward for having the courage to leave his comfort zone, but the player he beat in the final still has the edge over the Briton, according to seven-times grand slam champion Mats Wilander. Wilander said little could be read into Murray”s five-set victory over Novak Djokovic at a gusty Flushing Meadows last September, given the Serb appeared to have had a bad day in the office. ”Djokovic does have the edge,” Swede Wilander told Reuters at Melbourne Park, where both 25-year-old players have reached the fourth round but cannot meet until the final. ”He literally will have an edge for a long time but that can be changed.”

Novak looked like he was thinking, ”It”s windy, I”m really not enjoying this as much as I should, I”m not playing that well, it”s Monday.” Almagro through to quarter-final after Tipsarevic retires Nicolas Almagro will meet fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in the Australian Open quarter-finals after his fourth-round opponent Janko Tipsarevic retired hurt in their match today. The eighth seeded Serb Tipsarevic received treatment on a foot injury and pulled the pin when trailing 6-2 5-1 in the match at Hisense Arena. The 10th-seeded Almagro advances to his first quarter-final at Melbourne Park in his ninth appearance at the year”s first grand slam after making the last eight at the French Open three times. Tipsarevic had played two successive five-set matches coming into the Almagro clash and said in the leadup that his legs were going to ”feel” it.

Posted in: Sports

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