The 2018 Australian Open champion, Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark has lost to Russian Maria Sharapova on Friday. The world no. 3 fell in three sets, as Sharapova worked hard to fight back whenever she was trailing behind, winning 6-4 4-6 6-4.
Embed from Getty Images
Photo: MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 18: Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark reacts in her third round match against Maria Sharapova of Russia during day five of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 18, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
The Russian had three opportunities to break in the opening game, but could not convert them. Wozniacki was the first to successfully convert break points, doing so in the fourth game to lead 3-1. In the seventh game, Sharapova got a chance to break back, and Wozniacki donated it to her with a double fault. Once the score was back on serve, Sharapova broke again to lead 4-5, then consolidated the break to win the set.
Wozniacki got an early 3-0 lead in the second set, but Sharapova was able to break back and put it back on serve at 3-2. At 5-4, Wozniacki leading, Sharapova was serving to keep herself alive in the second set, but she couldn’t do it. She hit a forehand long, giving Wozniacki the set.
At 3-3 in the deciding set, an inside out sharply angled forehand winner off the Russian’s racquet brought up two break points for her, but errors from her in the following points prevented her from converting them. Sharapova was able to get a third break point in this game, which she was able to convert with a forehand winner. She then consolidated to lead 5-3, putting pressure on the Dane to hold her service game and keep her in the match. However, a double fault by Wozniacki brought up a match point for Sharapova. This one was saved, but a second match point was brought up for the world no. 30, and she won the match after 2 hours and 24 minutes.
Embed from Getty Images
Photo: MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 18: Maria Sharapova of Russia play a backhand in her third round match against Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during day five of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 18, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images)
Since her return to tennis in 2017 following a doping ban, Sharapova hasn’t played a lot of matches, especially matches against top players. Due to this, coming into the match, she knew that it would be tough, but she said post match that “these are the types of matches I train for, so its really rewarding to win that final point.”
From this win, Sharapova has booked a date in the fourth round with Australia’s no. 1, Ashleigh Barty. The two have played once before, with Sharapova taking the win. That match was in 2018 in Rome on clay.