Former champions Sharapova & Kerber lose in Australian Open fourth round

Multiple Grand Slam champions Maria Sharapova and Angelique Kerber, who both have the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup in their trophy cabinet, lost in the fourth round of the Australian Open on the seventh day of the tournament.

After reaching her second straight final at the Sydney International, home favorite Ashleigh Barty moved into her first ever Grand Slam quarterfinals by producing a comeback win against Maria Sharapova. The 15th-seeded Barty lost the first set, but then won nine games in a row to win the second set and go 4-0 in the third.

Sharapova didn’t let Barty and her passionate supporters enjoy an easy finish. The 30th-seeded Russian, who had eliminated defending champion Caroline Wozniacki from the draw, complicated the encounter by breaking her 22-year-old opponent once, but the Australian eventually sealed the deal with an ace, on her fourth match point, 4-6 6-1 6-4.

In the final eight, Barty will face two-time Wimbledon champion and eighth seed Petra Kvitova, who comfortably stopped the run of Amanda Anisimova 6-2 6-1 on Rod Laver Arena.

Three years ago Angelique Kerber won the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup, while this season the former world No.1 was thrashed by the Australian Open debutante Danielle Collins, who had never been past the first round in any of her five previous appearances at majors. After being swept aside in just 56 minutes, 6-0 6-2, the second-seeded Kerber said that she felt good, that it was just that kind of day. Whether or not it was Kerber’s day, Collins’ confidence is sky high now:

I may not have won a Grand Slam match before this but, I’ve got to tell you, I think it’s going to keep happening.

Collins’ quarterfinal opponent will be the winner of the match between American fifth seed Sloane Stephens and Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

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