Kerber edges out Sharapova, advances to Australian Open 4th round

XIN LI  Getty Images

XIN LI Getty Images

Angelique Kerber crushed Maria Sharapova in straight sets in a battle of former champions at the Australian Open on Saturday.

Kerber had warmed up to the tournament in the best of manner with win in Sydney International and Kerber has brought the same confidence and power to the Melbourne Park.

Breaking serve five times, Kerber took just little over four minutes to win the match.

The 17th-seeded Keys, who lost in the U.S. Open final previous year to Sloane Stephens, saved three break points serving for the match, finally clinching it on her first match point when Bogdan netted a backhand.

"I have so many great memories from this court (Rod Laver Arena)", Kerber, the 2016 Australian Open champion, said. "I'm happy about how I played tonight".

The Russian simply could not find the consistency to match Kerber's excellence and the 21st seed did not falter, raising her arms in the air with glee after Sharapova pulled a backhand well wide, her 26th unforced error.

Osaka, the mild-mannered Japanese up-and-comer delivered 12 aces in a ferocious display that must surely have given her next opponent, world number one Simona Halep, reason to take a very deep breath.

Kerber and Sharapova have played seven times before, with the Russian leading 4-3 but having lost the last two of some fine encounters.

And Barty was not the only crowd fancy to get her marching orders, with five-time Grand Slam victor Maria Sharapova roundly beaten by a surgically precise Angelique Kerber. I'm around 50 in the world at this point, so I know I'm going to be facing seeded players first, second, third round.

"I look forward to these matches".

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At 5ft 6in for Halep and 5ft 2in for Davis, this was a clash between two of the smaller players on the women's tour, but what they lack in height they more than make up for in speed and agility.

"I was just trying to go out on the special court for me and play good tennis".

When Kerber moved 2-0 ahead in the second set, it seemed the match that had been billed as a potential classic would turn into an embarrassing rout.

Zverev's shock exit means that not one of the initial ten German players in the men's draw has made it past the second round.

It took Fabio Fognini almost eight years, but he's finally avenged a fourth-round loss to Julien Benneteau at Wimbledon.

The 36-year-old Swiss maestro is yet to drop a set in his quest for an incredible 20th Grand Slam title.

"There's a lot of things I need to improve on".

"I really try to enjoy every single moment right now". I was really trying to play my game.

She will play American 17th seed and 2017 US Open runner-up Madison Keys who progressed with a 6-3 6-4 win over Romania's Ana Bogdan.

Federer will face unseeded Hungarian Marton Fuscovics in the round after dispatching 29th seed Gasquet 6-2 7-5 6-4 on Saturday evening in just under two hours.

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