Wednesday 15 January 2014

Sharapova battles past Knapp and Heat in Australian Open

It was a straight match for Maria Sharapova at least on paper, when she walked on to the Rod Laver Arena to play Karin Knapp. For quite sometime it seemed that Sharapova will run away with the match in straight sets as she won the first set 6-3.

Knapp was not willing to go down without a fight, as she fought hard to take the second set 6-4 to force a decider. It was the third set where the battle really started.

Sharapova was the first to draw blood in the third set as she raced to a 3-1 lead in the decider. Knapp kept on fighting and brought the set back to serve by levelling at 3-all.

In the 7th game of the third set, Knapp saved 4 break points but Sharapova made it the fifth time and went up a break again. Sharapova served for the match at 5-4, but Knapp was not yet ready to go down as she fought off 3 match points to stay alive in the heated contest. I mean heated literally, with temperatures souring to 39 degrees Celcius and yes, it was Sharapova's double fault on the break point that gifted the break to Knapp.

Sharapova broke Knapp again at 8-all to serve for the match a second time. Sharapova known for her fighting instincts and never give up attitude, showed that when serving for the match. She threw in 3 double faults, one of which took her down a break point again. Sharapova overcame those 3 double faults to outlast heat and valiant efforts from Karin Knapp winning the third set 10-8.

Maria Sharapova is now into the third round of Australian Open where she will play Alize Cornet.

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