More top talents wilt in Australian Open heat wave


GETTYSharapova served for the set to book her place in the second round

Angelique Kerber has continued her march towards a second Australian Open crown with a clinical third-round victory over five-time grand slam victor Maria Sharapova.

Dominic Thiem survived his first career five-set match at the Australian Open, rallying from two sets down to defeat 190th-ranked American qualifier Denis Kudla 6-7 (6-8) 3-6 6-3 6-2 6-3 while American Sam Querrey was knocked out after losing 6-4 7-6 (8-6) 4-6 6-2 to 80th-ranked Marton Fucsovics of Hungary.

Kerber won that 2016 event, went on to win the 2016 US Open and ended that year as the No. 1 player in the world.

"This court is so special for me, so I came out here and I was trying to enjoy every point and with you guys it's even more special", the 30-year-old said on court afterwards. "I just think the double-hander is easier". Maria's a champion, she played so good the last few weeks.

"I think there are a lot of things I need to get better at and to improve on", Sharapova said. I'm around 50 in the world at this point, so I know I'm going to be facing seeded players first, second, third round.

"She was the more aggressive player".

If her campaign so far is any indication, she will be extremely tough to stop.Kerber took the first set in just 29 minutes, displaying her trademark athleticism and forcing Sharapova into a number of erratic shots.

It was a disciplined performance from Kerber, who made just five unforced errors, while Sharapova, forced to chase the match, racked up 24.

Novak Djokovic never feared he would have to retire from his third-round match at the Australian Open, despite receiving lengthy treatment on his left hip in the second set.

The top seeds in the women's tournament have all had their dramas this week but none quite like this.

On day four of the Australian Open, one could make the argument that the biggest winners on the day were not the players, but probably the vendors selling ice cream and water bottles.

"Did I request? No", he said following the Monfils match. So long. I never played the third set so long. "I'm very pleased for that". "I love it here", said the Russian, who returned from her drugs ban in April previous year.

The final set lasted two hours and 22 minutes while the 48 games equals the most for a women's match in Australian Open history, tying the 1996 quarter-final between Chanda Rubin Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, which Rubin won 6-4 2-6 16-14.

Still looking for a first major after two French Open final losses, top-ranked Simona Halep held off 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard 6-2, 6-2.

Wozniacki, who plays Carla Suarez Navarro in the quarterfinals, could return to the top ranking if she reaches the semifinals combined with other results, a spot she hasnt occupied for six years.

But, after leaving the court for a bathroom break, he returned to play the third set.

Unseeded American Tennys Sandgren, who defeated 2014 victor Stan Wawrinka in the second round, continued to make progress, putting out Maximilian Marterer 5-7, 6-3, 7-5, 7-6 (7-5).

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