Sports

Maria Sharapova Knocks Defending Champion Caroline Wozniacki Out Of The Australian Open

HARSH RANJAN | 0
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| January 18 , 2019 , 14:33 IST

Former 1 and 2008 champion Maria Sharapova gets a tremendous win over the defending champion Caro Wozniacki 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to reach the last 16 at the Australian Open for the first time since 2016.

Sharapova's victory Friday was built on aggressive groundstrokes that gave her a 37-10 edge in total winners.

She is seeded only 30th at Melbourne Park, where she won the 2008 title for one of her five Grand Slam trophies but hasn't been past the quarterfinals since 2015.

While Wozniacki would hit just one winner in the second set, she confounded Sharapova into 19 unforced errors as she worked to level the match after moving ahead 3-0 to start.

The Russian netted a forehand drop shot in the ninth game that helped Wozniacki hold and ultimately break to force a decider.

Wozniacki was the No. 3 seed in Australia, a year after beating Simona Halep in the final here to claim her first major championship.

Sharapova had won their most recent meeting at the 2015 Mutua Madrid Open, but Wozniacki claimed the edge on hard courts, winning back-to-back three-setters at the 2014 US Open and BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.

With a calm love hold, Sharapova earned a match point at 5-3, but couldn't convert after a long rally.

A strong return set up a second match point and Sharapova ultimately overpowered her rival for a dramatic win.

The final set was as tense as any played throughout their 11-match rivalry; Trading service holds through the first six games, Sharapova came to breakpoint first as Wozniacki served down 15-40.

Though the Dane would save both, she couldn't shake Sharapova, who let out a roar as she edged ahead what would be a crucial break.