Highlights of Friday's fifth day of the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the year
Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki was knocked out of the Australian Open by former world number one Maria Sharapova, who fired a warning to the rest of the field with a resounding three-set win on Friday.
Five-times Grand Slam winner Sharapova struck 37 winners in a 6-4 4-6 6-3 win to set up a fourth-round clash with home favourite Ashleigh Barty.
Wozniacki, who was competing as a defending champion at a Grand Slam for the first time, said it was just one of those days after being outplayed by her Russian opponent.
Sharapova showed she's ready to be a Grand Slam factor once again, ousting defending #AusOpen champion Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in nearly 2½ hours.— TENNIS.com (@Tennis) January 18, 2019
WATCH: https://t.co/9dsOdo4zCf pic.twitter.com/dtSbKm1bdC
"In tennis, you're one on one, you battle and you do your best. One day you win, some days you lose," the Dane said.
"I gave it everything I had today. She was just a little bit better than me and that was really it."
Second seed Angelique Kerber celebrated her 31st birthday with a 58-minute 6-1 6-0 win over Australian wildcard Kimberly Birrell.
Forget 🍰. Angelique Kerber had 🥖 and 🥯 for her birthday.— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 18, 2019
The German celebrated turning 31-years-old with a 6-1 6-0 victory over Kimberly Birrell: https://t.co/BdB51ToJJh#AusOpen #sleepisfortheweak pic.twitter.com/l5pFGhkPXN
In the men's draw, 17-times Grand Slam winner Rafa Nadal needed six match points to overcome Australian number one Alex de Minaur 6-1 6-2 6-4 in a little over two hours.
Defending champion Roger Federer produced a serving masterclass to put away American Taylor Fritz 6-2 7-5 6-2 under the roof on Rod Laver Arena.
The 37-year-old Swiss will next face Greek 14th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3 3-6 7-6(7) 6-4.
CILIC SURVIVES VERDASCO TEST
After saving two match points in the fourth set tiebreak, sixth seed Marin Cilic overcame Spanish 35-year-old Fernando Verdasco 4-6 3-6 6-1 7-6(8) 6-3 to reach the last 16.
Cilic Survives 👀— ATP Tour (@ATP_Tour) January 18, 2019
After saving two match points in the fourth set tie-break, @cilic_marin beats Fernando Verdasco in four hours and 18 minutes at the @AustralianOpen. 💪 #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/KP5d8GF5tB
TIAFOE OUTLASTS SEPPI
Frances Tiafoe was pushed to five sets in the third round but found a way past Italian Andreas Seppi to seal a 6-7(3) 6-3 4-6 6-4 6-3 win in three hours and 17 minutes.
The American, who stunned fifth seed Kevin Anderson in the previous round, takes on Grigor Dimitrov next.
DIMITROV DOWNS FABBIANO
Grigor Dimitrov endured a stern test early in his third round match against Italian Thomas Fabbiano before the 20th seed prevailed 7-6(5) 6-4 6-4 in a little over two hours.
STEPHENS OVERCOMES MARTIC
American Sloane Stephens, seeded fifth, beat Croatia's Petra Martic 7-6(6) 7-6(5) to move into the fourth round where she meets Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Former U.S. Open champion Stephens has won both previous meetings with the unseeded Russian, including a three-set victory at Beijing last year.
TEENAGER ANISIMOVA DISMISSES SABALENKA
American teenager Amanda Anisimova pulled off an upset by swatting aside 11th seed Aryna Sabalenka 6-3 6-2.
The unseeded 17-year-old, who reached the quarter-finals at Auckland earlier this month, prevailed in 65 minutes to set up a fourth-round clash with Petra Kvitova or Belinda Bencic.
BERDYCH QUELLS SCHWARTZMAN CHALLENGE
Tomas Berdych dropped the opening set but recovered to overcome Diego Schwartzman 5-7 6-3 7-5 6-4. The Czech missed the last six months of 2018 due to a back issue but has since returned to form, reaching the final of the Qatar Open earlier this month.
TSITSIPAS POWERS PAST BASILASHVILI
Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3 3-6 7-6(7) 6-4 to reach the last 16 at Melbourne for the first time and equal his best Grand Slam result.
BARTY WINS FIRST MATCH OF THE DAY
Australia's Ashleigh Barty beat Maria Sakkari 7-5 6-1 under a closed roof at Rod Laver Arena following morning showers.
The temperature at Melbourne Park was hovering around the 25 degrees Celsius mark on a cloudy day.