Sharapova sparkles after Kerber crash in Melbourne

MELBOURNE Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:37pm IST

Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates defeating Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium in their women's singles match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 20, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates defeating Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium in their women's singles match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 20, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Damir Sagolj

Coal Mining In The Punjab

Coal Mining In The Punjab

In Choa Saidan Shah miners dig coal with crude pick axes and load it onto donkeys to be transported to the surface earning a team of 4 workers around $10 to be split between them.  Slideshow 

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Maria Sharapova continued to carve through the Australian Open draw with ruthless efficiency on Sunday but fifth seed Angelique Kerber crashed out as the heavy grind of the tournament's first week began to take its toll.

Sharapova was held up briefly when her serve deserted her in the first set but remained firmly fixed on her goal and beat Belgian Kirsten Flipkens 6-0 6-1 to reach the quarter-finals, having conceded just five games.

"It's really about keeping your focus, no matter what the score is, no matter if you're up," said 2008 Australian Open champion Sharapova.

"I didn't start the match really great (but) then I started really getting under the ball and being aggressive and just had a little bit more energy which really helped me and I carried that throughout the match."

The second seed will next play compatriot Ekaterina Makarova in a rematch of last year's quarter-final after the world number 19 upset Kerber 7-5 6-4 in the opening match of the day on the main showcourt.

German Kerber, who reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon last year but had never previously got as far as the fourth round in Melbourne, said a back injury had hampered her serving.

"I was thinking it would not be too bad, but in the first set it was getting worse and worse," she said. "I had treatment but it was not too good."

Makarova upset Serena Williams at the same stage last year before losing to Sharapova in the quarter-finals and said she was looking forward to the chance to turn the tables.

"Last year I was so surprised ... and had so many thoughts on my mind," she said. "This year, I'm a little bit used to it. I think I'll be ready to play a good game."

Where Sharapova has stormed through the women's draw, David Ferrer has moved unfussily through the men's toward a likely semi-final against defending champion Novak Djokovic, who plays Stan Wawrinka later on Sunday.

Seeded fourth in the absence of injured compatriot Rafa Nadal, Ferrer reached the quarter-finals for the third straight year after ending Kei Nishikori's challenge with a 6-2 6-1 6-4 victory.

"It's very important to get to the second week not feeling too tired and in good physical condition," said the Spaniard, who has dropped just one set all tournament.

"So the most important thing, I think, is not to play too many sets."

Eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic would undoubtedly agree.

After more than 11 hours on court at Melbourne Park this week, the Serb withdrew from his fourth round match against Nicolas Almagro with a foot problem while trailing 6-2 5-1.

"I'm not completely happy because Janko was injured. That's not the way you want to win," said 10th seed Almagro, who will play Ferrer in an all-Spanish quarter-final.

"I'm hitting the ball with confidence and playing really aggressively. I need to be ready for a big fight." (Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

SPORTS SHOWCASE

Commonwealth Games

Commonwealth Games

Grenada’s James lights up Glasgow with emphatic 400 win.  Full Article 

Raising Cash

Raising Cash

Glazers to raise $150 million by cutting Man Utd stake.  Full Article 

Winter Olympics

Winter Olympics

Cho named as new head of Pyeongchang 2018 organisers.  Full Article 

Time To Roar

Time To Roar

Firestone a perfect place for Tiger to salvage season.  Full Article 

Overseas Recruit

Overseas Recruit

Trezeguet signs up for Indian Super League.  Full Article 

On The Green

On The Green

Scott once again wary of challengers for the top spot.  Full Article 

Emotional Return

Emotional Return

I need a hug, says Scolari on Gremio return.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage