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Inconsistent Sharapova into fourth round in Melbourne

Inconsistent Sharapova into fourth round in Melbourne

Saturday, January 18, 2014, 10:38 GMT+7

Maria Sharapova ran hot and cold before overcoming 25th-seed Alize Cornet 6-1 7-6(6) on Saturday to advance to the fourth round of the Australian Open.

The world number three, who had spent almost 3-1/2 hours on court in sweltering conditions on Thursday, found the conditions on Saturday much more agreeable.

Temperatures dropped from 43 Celsius (109 Fahrenheit) during the week to 22C (72F) and the Russian quickly found her rhythm on Rod Laver Arena, dictating play to take the first set in 32 minutes.

Cornet appeared to be limping and favouring her left ankle between points in the second set but errors began to creep into 2008 champion Sharapova's game.

Cornet broke her serve three times and saved a match point in the ninth game before Sharapova scraped to an 8-6 victory in the tie-break to seal the match.

Australian Open women's singles round 3 results: 13-Sloane Stephens (US) beat Elina Svitolina (Ukraine) 7-5 6-4              3-Maria Sharapova (Russia) beat 25-Alize Cornet (France) 6-1 7-6(6)           8-Jelena Jankovic (Serbia) beat Kurumi Nara (Japan) 6-4 7-5                   11-Simona Halep (Romania) beat Zarina Diyas (Kazakhstan) 6-1 6-4              20-Dominika Cibulkova (Slovakia) beat 16-Carla Suarez Navarro (Spain) 6-1 6-0



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