rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » Photos:Sharapova eclipses Venus, Djokovic cruises

Photos:Sharapova eclipses Venus, Djokovic cruises

Last updated on: January 18, 2013 15:32 IST

Sharapova eclipses Venus to reach fourth round

     Next

Next

Maria Sharapova missed out on a third successive 'double-bagel' but humbled Venus Williams 6-1, 6-3 to charge into the fourth round of the Australian Open on Friday.

The centre court crowd was left stunned as the second seeded Russian scorched to a 4-0 lead in the first set to rattle her American opponent, and charged on in the second to wrap up the match in 79 minutes on a chilly evening at Rod Laver Arena.

The 25th seed Williams sparked raucous cheers by breaking Sharapova and holding her serve late in the second set, but the Russian sealed the match with an ace and unleashed a fist-pumping shriek.

Sharapova will next play Belgian Kirsten Flipkens as she continues her bid for a fifth grand slam title and second at Melbourne Park.


Image: Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates defeating Venus Williams of the U.S. during their women's singles match at the Australian Open tennis tournament
Photographs: Toby Melville/Reuters

     Next

Ivanovic ousts Jankovic in battle of thawed Serbs

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Ana Ivanovic beat fellow Serb and once fierce rival Jelena Jankovic 7-5, 6-3 in a battle of former World No. 1s to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open on Friday.

Three years ago or so, a clash between the two would have been in deep into the latter stages of a Grand Slam, rather than a third-round meeting.

Former French Open champion Ivanovic is seeded 13th this year and Jankovic at 22 but despite their fall from the top of the women's game, their rivalry remains intense.

"It's competitiveness, said Ivanovic, who will next face fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska after the Pole took her winning streak to 12 matches by thrashing Britain's Heather Watson.

"You have that with everyone you play -- and especially someone coming from your country. We were (once) both looking for the number one position and to win a Grand Slam.


Image: Ana Ivanovic of Serbia celebrates
Photographs: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Prev     Next

'There is going to be rivalry, but I think there is healthy rivalry'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

"Of course there is going to be rivalry, but I think there is healthy rivalry too because you kind of push each other.

"We played in the 2008 French Open (semi-finals) and then here we were both in the semi-finals in 2008, so it definitely brings a lot of memories.

"We haven't played each other in a grand slam for a while, but it's always tough.

"She's still a very good player and even though we are different opponents now than we were then, still it's a battle, and every match you want to win."

There was a time where the two would barely exchange a word but over the years their relationship has thawed, also helped by their efforts together in the Fed Cup.

"We had a really good week in Prague for the final of the Fed Cup," said Ivanovic. "We were hanging out a lot, joking. It's nice. We have known each other for a while."

Ivanovic has lost some weight in recent months and says she is still trying to strike the right balance between fleetness of foot and power.

"It's just about the muscle and just getting the right balance because still you need to feel light on the court but you have to be powerful," she said.

"I had a really tough match the other day and today I came out and I was feeling fine and was explosive - so I'm very, very pleased that it's paying off. But I'm still working at it."


Image: Ana Ivanovic
Photographs: Chris Hyde/Getty Images
Tags: Ivanovic , Fed , Prague

Prev     Next

Radwanska stays hot despite cooling temperatures

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Agnieszka Radwanska smiled, laughed and then dismissed any notions of superstition after she advanced to the fourth round.

The 23-year-old Pole had earlier romped to a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Britain's Heather Watson in the third round, notching her 12th successive victory in 2013.

"There is," she said when asked if 13 was considered an unlucky number in Poland as she looked ahead to her fourth round clash with Serbian 13th seed Ana Ivanovic.

"I didn't say that," she hastily added with a beaming smile as if to banish any potential misfortune she may have brought upon herself.

The World No. 4, who could also win her 13th career title if she goes on to lift the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Trophy, was also quick to point out that she was "not actually" superstitious.

Radwanska, who won the Auckland and Sydney titles before the Australian Open and said earlier she "hoped" she was not in the form of her life, added she could not think of a better run of victories and felt she was building nicely into the tournament.

"I think it was a good start," she said of her pre-Australian Open preparations. "Well, I can't complain.

"I really had a lot of good matches against top players this year, and I must say I'm really playing good and everything is working."

Radwanska had little trouble against the 20-year-old Briton, taking advantage of cooler conditions in Melbourne to continue her red-hot start to the year.


Image: Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland
Photographs: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Prev     Next

Keys bows out to Kerber

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

American teenager Madison Keys said a new set of headphones for her portable media player was top of her shopping list after bowing out of the Australian Open with winnings of A$54,500 for her third round finish.

Keys, one of the bright young talents of American tennis hoping to take the mantle from the Williams sisters, struggled with nerves during her centre court debut at Melbourne Park and lost 6-2, 7-5 to German fifth seed Angelique Kerber.

The 17-year-old vowed to use the match as a learning experience as she prepares for her first full year on the WTA tour.

"I'm taking away some positives. But right now, it kind of sucks," Keys, who is yet to start her senior year of high school, told reporters with a gummy smile.

"I think it was the occasion, centre court the first time, I think I was just kind of... I think I almost psyched myself out, thinking I had to play better than what I did have to play."I think I just got really nervous, going for too much, and pressing instead of just working points."

Keys said she was proud to be part of the renaissance of the US women at Melbourne Park, where five American women advanced to the third round, spearheaded by favourite Serena Williams.

"I think this is probably the best America's done in a Grand Slam in a long time, and I'm very happy to be one of the Americans that made it this far.

"I think that if we keep working hard we can have better results."


Photographs: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Prev     Next

China's Li continues Melbourne love affair

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

China's tempestuous trailblazer Li Na sailed into the fourth round and is poised for a deep run into the second week should she be able to overcome her greatest opponent -- herself.

The sixth seed had little trouble despatching Romania's Sorana Cirstea 6-4, 6-1 on a breezy day at Rod Laver Arena to underline her title credentials in Melbourne.

As shown by her breakthrough French Open triumph in 2011, Li has the game, built around a cracking forehand, to topple the heavyweights if only she can win the mental battle in her head.

A bonus for Li is the absence of four-time Grand Slam champion Kim Clijsters, who beat her in the 2011 final and knocked her out of the fourth round last year.

Li imploded after taking winning positions in both of those matches, but the signs look good at Melbourne Park for the late-blooming 30-year-old, who has now made the second week for a fourth straight year.

"I always try to play my game on the court ... but sometimes I was fighting against myself," the Chinese told reporters.


Image: Li Na of China
Photographs: Toby Melville/Reuters

Prev     Next

Djokovic stays hot as cool wind blows through Melbourne

Prev     More
Prev

More

A welcome wind blew away the stifling heat at Melbourne Park on Friday but there was no diverting Novak Djokovic from his path to a third straight Australian Open title as he marched into the fourth round without giving up a set.

Playing with the roof closed on Rod Laver Arena because of a few drops of rain that accompanied the cooler weather, Djokovic's 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 victory over Radek Stepanek was by no means a cakewalk, however.

The 34-year-old Czech is nobody's mug and the world number one had to work for every point in the 142-minute encounter, getting a good workout, particularly at the net, before sealing the win with a forehand pass.

"Always great to play Radek. He's very experienced, very tricky to play. Hope you enjoyed as much as we did on the court," said 25-year-old Serbian after he reached the fourth round for the seventh year in a row.


Image: Novak Djokovic
Photographs: Lucas Dawson/Getty Images

Prev     More
Source:
© Copyright 2013 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.