Barty beats Sharapova; Collins wins

Melbourne, Jan 20 (IANS) | Publish Date: 1/20/2019 12:23:23 PM IST

Australia’s Ashleigh Barty defeated Russia’s Maria Sharapova to make it into the first Grand Slam quarterfinal of her career at the Australian Open on Sunday.

The No 15 seed recovered from a set down against the former world No 1 and wrapped up the match 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in just under two and a half hours, reports Efe news.

Sharapova, who won the Australian Open in 2008, was looking for her first quarterfinal in Melbourne since 2016 after she had ousted defending champion Caroline Wozniacki in three sets in the last round.

But she was no match against the in-form Barty, the home favourite.

Sharapova had powered her way through the first set but could not maintain her imperious tennis as Barty stormed back into the game and gave her a tough fight in the last two sets.

Barty will take on Petra Kvitova in the quarterfinals, who downed American youngster Amanda Anisimova in straight sets earlier on Sunday.

Meanwhile, unseeded Danielle Collins pulled off the biggest upset so far at the Australian Open women’s draw on Sunday after she routed former champion Angelique Kerber to make it to her maiden Grand Slam quarterfinal.

The American, a two-time NCAA collegiate champion, lost just two games and needed just 56 minutes to defeat the number two seed 6-0, 6-2, reports Efe news.

She broke the 2016 Australian Open champion to love in the first game of the match, and broke her three more times in the second set, and finished the match with a whopping 29 winners to just 17 unforced errors.

The German, who hadn’t lost serve in her first three matches of the fortnight, could hold serve just once against the American’s power-packed performance.

“I may not have won a Grand Slam match before this tournament, but I gotta tell you I think it’s going to keep on happening,” Collins said after the match.

“When I was at college my coaches always taught me to go out there, believe in my shots,” she added.

“I definitely think having that experience has helped me at the pro level, but all kudos to my coaching squad. They gave me the plan and I just executed it.”

“I go out fearless, I’ve been working so hard my whole life. I just give it my all and I don’t think twice about it. 

Hopefully it will be another amazing match of tennis for me,” she said of her quarterfinal showdown with either compatriot and number five seed Sloane Stephens, or unseeded Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Nadal wins; Federer ousted
Rafael Nadal pounded former Australian Open semi-finalist Tomas Berdych 6-0, 6-1, 7-6(4) on Sunday to book his place in the Australian Open quarterfinals for the 11th time.
The 2009 champion was at his aggressive best and claimed the first nine games of the match against the World No 57, reports Efe news.
He dominated the first two sets. And while Berdych raised his game in the third, he could not deter the Spaniard, who wrapped up the game in 2 hours and 5 minutes.
Berdych held his own in the third, staying with the Spaniard for the first 11 games and leading 4-3 in the ensuing tiebreak but he was no match for the 17-time Grand Slam champion, who blasted out his 31st winner to reach match point.
Nadal will now play against Frances Tiafoe, who ousted Grigor Dimitrov on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Stefanos Tsitsipas came of age to defeat two-time defending champion Roger Federer and reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final in thrilling fashion at the Australian Open.
The 20-year-old recovered from losing the first set on a tiebreak, held off four set points in the second set and saved 12 break points through unrelenting determination in front of a captivated Melbourne crowd.
Tsitsipas, who was facing Federer for the first time in a tour-level match, eventually knocked out the six-time winner 6-7 (11-13) 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 7-6 (7-5) after three hours and 45 minutes to become the first Greek man or woman to reach the last eight at a Grand Slam.
The world No 15 will now meet another first-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist Roberto Bautista Agut after the Spaniard beat last year’s runner-up Marin Cilic 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 6-2 4-6 6-4.

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