Maria Sharapova was despatched crashing out of the Australian Open in a crushing defeat by Angelique Kerber Saturday as Simona Halep survived a titanic battle to make the final 16.
With the temperatures a manageable 26 Celsius (79 Farenheit) at Melbourne Park after two days of oven-like situations, the Russian was no match for the German, flopping 6-1, 6-Three in a battle of the previous champions.
Fourth seed Alexander Zverev was one other high-profile casualty on day six, crushed in 5 units by South Korea’s Chung Hyeon to proceed his depressing Grand Slam type.
Among males by was Austrian fifth seed Dominic Thiem who beat France’s Adrian Mannarino in straight units, and veteran Tomas Berdych who noticed off Juan Martin Del Potro.
American Tennys Sandgren, who had by no means received a Grand Slam match earlier than this yr’s Australian Open, additionally progressed.
Another Melbourne Park debutant Marton Fucsovics of Hungary can also be having fun with his greatest ever Grand Slam, seeing off Argentine Nicolas Kicker.
Fucsovics will subsequent meet 19-time Grand slam winner Roger Federer who beat Frenchman Richard Gasquet in three units.
Novak Djokovic can also be nonetheless within the race after sending Spanish Albert Ramos residence in three straight units. He subsequent meets Hyeon Chung, who ousted new technology star, Zverev.
“This court is special for me and I was trying to enjoy every point,” 30 year-old Kerber mentioned of Rod Laver Arena, the place she beat Serena Williams within the 2016 remaining.
“I knew it would be tough, Maria is a champion, and I just tried to play my game.”
Kerber is in scintillating type, having received the lead-up Sydney International, and can face both Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska or Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei for a spot within the quarter-finals.
For 30 year-old Sharapova, who’s trying to rediscover her greatest on her approach again from a 15-month medication ban, it’s again to the drafting board.
The similar may be mentioned for Zverev, who has been hailed because the chief of the tennis new guard however has now didn’t transcend the fourth spherical in 11 Grand Slams.
“I have some figuring out to do, what happens to me in deciding moments in Grand Slams,” he mentioned after taking place 5-7, 7-6 (7/Three), 2-6, 6-Three, 6-Zero.
Halep earlier regarded out for the depend in opposition to 76th-ranked American Lauren Davis.
But she lastly acquired over the road Four-6, 6-Four, 15-13 in a gruelling 3hr 44min epic in a contest that took its toll.
“I’m almost dead,” the tenacious Romanian mentioned after the unimaginable battle, through which Davis misplaced a toenail and Halep served for the match 4 occasions.
“The feeling in my muscles is gone and I don’t feel my ankle any more,” she added.
Halep, a former quarter-finalist, will subsequent play Naomi Osaka in her quest for a maiden Grand Slam title after the Japanese star beat Australia’s Ashleigh Barty.