» Sports » Sharp Sharapova returns to form to reach fourth round

Sharp Sharapova returns to form to reach fourth round

Last updated on: January 23, 2015 16:41 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

Maria Sharapova proved her second round scare against Alexandra Panova was no more than a blip as she destroyed Zarina Diyas 6-1, 6-1 to charge into the Australian Open fourth round on Friday.

- SHOCKING! Seppi dumps Federer out of Australian Open

The statuesque second seed was forced to save match points against fellow Russian Panova on Wednesday but roared back into form against the hapless Kazakh, who was completely out-gunned in the baseline duels.

"I think I rebounded really well. I had a good hit yesterday," the five-times Grand Slam champion told reporters.

"Just kind of thought a little bit about what I wanted to try to achieve tonight no matter who I played.

"Of course, I focused a little bit on myself more than anything else.

"Just tried to be a bit more aggressive, concentrate. I thought I did a good job of focusing well."

Sharapova blasted 22 winners against the 31st seed and sealed the match with an ace in a tick over an hour.

The Russian will next play Peng Shuai for a place in the quarter-finals, with the 21st-seeded Chinese taking on the mantle of retired champion Li Na with a second trip to the last 16 in Melbourne.

"I think she's always a tough player to play against because she's really solid," Sharapova said.

"She's quite powerful. I know she's gone through a few injuries in her career. Having that start-stop type of career is never easy, because sometimes you don't feel like you can actually get a routine and a groove.

"I think she's someone that actually gets better by playing matches, when she gets a good feeling of her strokes, because so much depends on her groundstrokes and the fluidity of how she hits."

Image: Maria Sharapova in action.

Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
© Copyright 2022 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.

India Tour of South Africa 2021-22