Melbourne: Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova crashed out of the Australian Open after being defeated by Ashleigh Barty of Australia in the pre-quarters round of the women’s singles event here at the Rod Laver Arena on Sunday.
The 31-year-old, who had made it to the final 16 after beating defending champion Caroline Wozniacki, was thrashed 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in a match that lasted two and a half hours.
In a close first set, both the players took turns to dominate the situation. As the scoreline read 4-4, Sharapova got her way and secured a crucial point before sealing the set with an ace.
The Russian, however, could not sustain the momentum in the second set and conceded an easy defeat at the hands of the local girl.
The final set saw Barty gaining an initial lead of four points indicating towards a one-sided show in the decider. But Sharapova surprised the spectators with her gritty and determined shots to level the score 4-4. At a point when the set seemed to be going in Sharapova’s Kitty, the Australian player battled hard and sealed the match with an ace.
After the match, Sharapova said that she had her chances in the match but could not capitalize on them. The Russian also praised her opponent saying that she played a really confident game.
“I thought she played a really great match, and I still had my chances which I didn’t take. I definitely had a letdown for many games straight, gave her that confidence, and she’s a confidence player, as well. And she’ll take it. She’s not going to back down,” WTA quoted Sharapova, as saying.
In other women singles match, world number two Angelique Kerber crashed out of the tournament after suffering a 6-0, 6-2 debacle at the hands of debutant Danielle Collins of America.