Australian Open: Maria Sharapova overcomes Caroline Wozniacki

Updated: Jan 19, 2019, 11:54 IST | AFP

Revenge not a motivating factor for Maria Sharapova as Russian overcomes World No. 3 and defending champ Wozniacki 6-4, 4-6, 6-3

Maria Sharapova is ecstatic after winning a point in a Round Three match against Caroline Wozniacki at Melbourne yesterday. Pics/AFP
Maria Sharapova is ecstatic after winning a point in a Round Three match against Caroline Wozniacki at Melbourne yesterday. Pics/AFP

Maria Sharapova denied revenge was a motivating factor behind her shock win over defending Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki yesterday. The five-time Grand Slam winner dumped the Dane from the tournament in a three-set thriller 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to claim her biggest scalp since completing a drugs ban in 2017.

At the time, World No. 3 Wozniacki was an outspoken critic of the way the WTA eased Sharapova's return from the positive test by handing the Russian wildcards to top tournaments. But Sharapova, who is seeded 30 at Melbourne Park this year as she tries to rejoin the game's elite, insisted the spat was not on her mind as she bundled out the Dane on Rod Laver Area.

"I just really like winning," Sharapova, 31, said. "I'm really happy and proud of the way I competed today and I'm into the fourth round. That's all that matters." The win sets up a last 16 clash with in-form Australian hope Ash Barty for the Russian, who won the title at Melbourne Park in 2008 and has reached the final a further three times. Sharapova said she was thrilled to overcome a player of Wozniacki's stature. "I knew I was going to get a really tough match as she's the defending champion of this event and it's no secret she loves this arena," she said.

Caroline Wozniacki
Caroline Wozniacki

Special birthday for Kerber
The German Wimbledon champion swept World No. 240 Birrell aside in just 58 minutes to set up a last 16 clash with unseeded American Danielle Collins. Kerber, a winner at Melbourne Park in 2016, said she was used to celebrating her birthday on the road at the season-opening Grand Slam. "I think it's the 12th time in a row," she said. "I'm getting older but I have the best time here and I'll never forget my birthdays here in Australia."

Win for Fed in 100th match
Ageless Roger Federer marked his 100th Rod Laver Arena match yesterday by storming past Taylor Fritz, then looked forward to a "high quality" last-16 clash against another young gun, Stefanos Tsitsipas. Federer continued his quest for a record seventh Australian Open title with a 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 third-round demolition of American Fritz in just 88 minutes.

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