Sharapova Crashes Out of Australian Open



Maria Sharapova was sent packing from the Australian Open, the 2008 champion overhauled by local favourite Ash Barty in a thrilling last-16 encounter on Sunday.

Sharapova ended Caroline Wozniacki's title defence at Melbourne Park on Friday, however, the five-time grand slam winner was unable to build on that result.


The former world number one claimed the opening set but crashed to a 4-6 6-1 6-4 defeat against 15th seed Barty following almost two-and-a-half hours on Rod Laver Arena.

After losing a tight first set to the Russian star, Barty won 10 of the next 11 games as she forced a decider and took a commanding 4-0 lead in the third.

Nerves slowly crept in, with Sharapova - who was booed by the crowd after spending seven minutes off court for a bathroom break at the end of the second set - managing to reel off three consecutive games to threaten a comeback.


But despite wasting three match points amid a mini-wobble, Barty - through to her maiden slam quarter-final - held on to become the first Australian woman to reach the last eight in Melbourne since Jelena Dokic in 2009.

Next up for Barty is two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova - a rematch of the Sydney International final.