Maria Sharapova Talks Wozniacki Ahead of Clash

Jo Caldwell
January 20, 2019

"I haven't played a lot of matches in the past year, especially against top players", Sharapova said after the match. Just came up short.

Maria Sharapova turned back the clock to knock out defending Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki in a barnstormer of a contest on Rod Laver Arena on Friday.

Sharapova, the Australian Open champion in 2008, headed into the match with a 6-4 lead in their previous meetings.

The Russian did not face a single breakpoint in the match and sealed it in 71 minutes with a third break in the set.

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"She's obviously an incredible doubles player - a year ago she was No.1 in the world".

Not only had she lost her Australian Open title, she had lost a battle against Maria Sharapova that was always going to be more than just a tennis match. Sharapova, who was positioned perfectly to lose the opening set, made a stunning comeback and won the next five games with the help of 16 winners to register an extraordinary victory.

Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki have played 10 times in the past.

The 31-year-old inflicted a three set defeat on the third seeded Dane, ending her title defense in Melbourne. "She loves playing here and did extremely well in Sydney last week", the 2008 victor said of Barty, who got past rising Greek Maria Sakkari 7-5 6-1 yesterday.

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In other games, No.11 seed Aryna Sabalenka, from Belarus, advanced to the third round for the first time with a 6-3 6-4 win over Great Britain's Katie Boulter.

With a calm love hold, Sharapova earned a match point at 5-3, but couldn't convert after a long rally. Suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, Wozniacki has had troubles while playing but she has not let that compromise with her determination on the court. "In a match like that against a player that moves well, I'm not necessarily expecting to hit winners left and right, even if that would be nice - free points feel good - but that's not what you have to expect".

In a mouth-watering clash, fellow defending champion Wozniacki takes on Sharapova, who has been in sizzling form, dropping only three games in the first two rounds.

Over at adjoining Margaret Court Arena, Tsitsipas took the opening set 6-3 against Nikoloz Basilashvili but the Georgian player won the second by the same score.

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