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Maria Sharapova OUT of the Australian Open after being roundly booed by Rod Laver Arena crowd


Sharapova was taken out (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)

Maria Sharapova squandered a one-set lead on her way out of the Australian Open as Ash Barty booked her spot in the quarter-finals of a major for the first time.

The Russian had taken out defending champion Caroline Wozniacki in the third round but was nowhere near that level as her serve abandoned her in a three sets defeat after two hours and 22 minutes.

It was an afternoon to forget for the 2008 champion at Melbourne Park – hitting 51 unforced errors in a 6-4 1-6 4-6 defeat – and she was roundly booed by the Rod Laver Arena crowd after taking a long off-court break between the second and third sets.

Barty reeled off nine consecutive games, with the crowd’s boos sandwiched neatly in the middle, and the 15th seed held on to set up a meeting with two-time Grand Slam champion Petra Kvitova in unchartered waters for the home favourite.

Barty pulled off a big win (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)

Barty, Australia’s last hope in the singles, was competing in the fourth round of a Slam for just the second time in her young career but showed no fear as she took the match to the five-time major winner.

Indeed, it was the 22-year-old home favourite who crafted the first opportunity to break but after failing to convert her Russian opponent struck in the next game before serving out the opener.

Barty was unfazed by the setback and broke the former world No. 1 twice on her way to levelling the match, with the Sharapova serve painfully going missing.

Sharapova went AWOL herself at the conclusion of the second set, disappearing off court for seven minutes and the 30th seed was roundly booed by the Rod Laver Arena crowd upon her return.

It wasn’t Sharapova’s day (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)

Rattled, the Russian dropped serve again – the sixth game she had lost in a row.

Sharapova finally held serve to stop the rot after nine consecutive games lost but will surely have been unamused at the crowd heartily cheering when she received a time violation.

Barty wobbled when serving at 4-1 up to allow the Russian back into the match and Sharapova held onto her own serve courtesy of several dramatic lung-busting rallies to edge to within one game of her opponent.

The 31-year-old had two break points to level the scores but the world No. 15 regained her cool to became the first Australian woman to reach a quarter-final of their home Slam since 2009 after converting her fourth match point with an ace in a frantic final game.

Kvitova is in the quarter-finals (Picture: AFP/Getty)

Earlier on the Rod Laver Arena, Kvitova thumped 17-year-old American Amanda Anisimova 6-2 6-1 to book her spot in the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park for the first time in seven years.

‘Actually, it doesn’t feel that long,’ she smiled. ‘Yeah, when I’m counting the years, it’s pretty long.

‘But, you know, sometimes the waiting time is worth for it, which it is. I’m very happy that I could be in the quarterfinals again after a while.

‘For sure it’s great. I’m not complaining at all.’





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