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Sharapova upsets Wozniacki as Federer, Nadal cruise on


Russia’s Maria Sharapova celebrates her victory against Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki during their women’s singles match on day five of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 18, 2019. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST / AFP)

Maria Sharapova defeated the third seed and defending champion, Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark 6/4; 4/6; 6/3 in the Rod Laver Arena.

For the men, Roger Federer ran through American youngster, Taylor Fritz 6/2; 7/5; 6/4, while Rafael Nadal detonated Australia’s hope by routing Alex de Minaur 6/1; 6/2; 6/4.

Wozniacki and Sharapova had won their matches in the preceding two rounds easily.

The Russian did not drop a game in the first round match against British qualifier Harriet Harriet Dart, while Wozniacki lost seven games en route to victory over Alison Van Uytvanck.

In their third round encounter, the defending champion shot to a 4-1 lead only to lose the next five games for the set.

In the second, she got a boreal to lead 3-0 and held to in 6/4. Games went with serve until Sharapova broke in the eighth game. That was sufficient for her to serve out the match. Sharapova thereby extended their career head-to-head tally to 7-4.

There were great expectations of Alex de Minaur in the build up to the match with Nadal. The 19-year old had defeated Andreas Seppi to win the warm-up in Sydney.

In Melbourne, after defeating Pedro Sousa of Portugal in straight sets, Minaur battled over four hours to claim a 6/4; 6/2; 6/7 (7) 4/6; 6/3 victory over the qualifier from Switzerland, Henri Laaksonen. It was a battle-weary Minaur that faced a relatively fresh warrior, Nadal, who had breezed through the first two rounds.

In an exciting second round match, “the man to watch from Greece,” 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas outlasted Nikoloz Basilashvili from Georgia 6/3; 3/6; 7/6(7); 6/4.

One single break determined the first two sets. The hard battle was in the second set that Tsitsipas narrowly won by seven points to nine.

The epic match of the day was Marin Cilic’s come-back 4/6; 3/6; 6/1; 7/6 (8); 6/3 victory over Spanish shot maker, Fernando Verdasco.

The duel lasted four hours and 18 minutes. Cilic extended his career record with Verdasco, having won their preceding four encounters. Verdasco’s previous victory over Cilic was at the 2015 Mutua Madrid Clay-court tournament on home soil.

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