Maria Sharapova advances to fourth round of Australian Open

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Russian Maria Sharapova returns the ball. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI.
Russian Maria Sharapova returns the ball. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI. | License Photo

Fifth-seeded Maria Sharapova needed three sets to top Florida's Lauren Davis 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-0 on Friday in the third round of the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Davis, a 22-year-old Ohio native who is ranked 103rd in the world, appeared in the third round of a Grand Slam event for only the third time in her career. She has never reached the fourth round.


Sharapova, a 28-year-old who also resides in Florida, is looking for her first major championship since the 2014 French Open. She owns five Grand Slam singles titles, including the 2008 Australian Open.

Also advancing to the women's fourth round was No. 12 Belinda Bencic of Switzerland, who edged Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.

In the men's draw, seventh-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan advanced to the fourth round for the fifth year in a row, defeating 26th-seeded Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Nishikori needed treatment for a right wrist injury following the first set.

"Actually it was OK. After treatment I got better," Nishikori said. "Luckily it didn't go five sets, which is good for my body."

Nishikori reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open and the French Open last year, but his only time advancing past that stage was a loss to Croatia's Marin Cilic in the 2014 U.S. Open final.

In other third-round men's singles action Friday, No. 15 David Goffin of Belgium beat No. 19 Dominic Thiem of Austria 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (2), 7-5.

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