Australian Open: Maria Sharapova works hard to make last 16

Maria Sharapova had a tough fight in the second round but she beat back the hot conditions to show fighting form against Alize Cornet of France.

updated: January 18, 2014 09:26 IST
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Melbourne: Russian third seed Maria Sharapova battled into the Australian Open fourth round on Saturday with a hard-fought, straight-sets win over France's Alize Cornet.

The four-time Grand Slam champion came through her match on Rod Laver Arena 6-1, 7-6 (8/6) in one hour 51 minutes, but Sharapova's killer instinct deserted her in the second set when she failed to serve out for the victory, forcing a tiebreak. (Also read: Sharapova lashes out at confusion over heat policy)

"She started playing better when I gave her some chances," said Sharapova, after setting up a clash with 20th-seeded Slovak Dominika Cibulkova for a place in the quarter-finals.

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