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Sharapova survives the heat and Karin Knapp

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova took hold of everything icy she could get her hands on in the scorching Melbourne heat and toiled past Italian Karin Knapp after three hours and 28 minutes 6-3 4-6 10-8 to advance to the third round of the Australian Open. Maybe Masha's sponsor Nike could start branding ice vests?

An hour and a half into the match, Sharapova and Knapp were again even, 1-1 in sets. Then in the beginning of the decider it was Sharapova who led first, 3-1, and even had break points to extend the lead to a double break, but that didn't happen and the memorable thriller hooked up when Knapp leveled to 3-3. Sharapova then took the lead again, 5-3, while at 5-4 she even had three match points, but Knapp saved them all and leveled yet again 5-5. Eventually Sharapova prevailed, but after serving for the match three times and being two points from defeat before breaking Knapp for a 9-8 lead.

The match was played at 41 Celsius/106 Fahrenheit, while the third set alone, lasting one hour and 55 minutes, was played in the hottest part of the day to that point. (photo via The Slice)

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2 thoughts on “Sharapova survives the heat and Karin Knapp

  1. Omair

    Kudos to Sharapova and Knapp on playing in such extreme conditions. It is good to see Sharapova having some match practice, she would need it for later rounds. She lacked this thing last year when she faced Li in the semi-finals.

  2. tenniz-fan

    I actually really like how the ice vest looks on her :D

    Phew, I'm so relieved that Sloane won because she would've lost SOOO many points had she lost. I checked the scoreboard when she was leading 3-0 that third set and the next time I looked at it, Tomljanovic was serving for the match… But what I have read, she played really, really well to finish the match.

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