Melbourne, Jan 22 (IANS) World No.5 Maria Sharapova rebounded in emphatic fashion, taking out unseeded American Lauren Davis 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-0 at the Australian Open here on Friday to record her 600th tennis career victory.
The 2008 champion raced through the opening set in 26 minutes.
But after engineering an early break in the second set, Davis broke back, eventually edging past the No.5 seed in a tense tie-break.
“I was up a break, up 30-0 and just let up,” Sharapova said after the match.
“You’re in a Grand Slam environment, third round, and against an opponent you haven’t played before who’s fired up and is not just going to give you the match.”
The third set began with some tight exchanges, but Sharapova soon found her rhythm, and closed out the match without losing another game.
The Russian hit 44 winners and 42 unforced errors in the third round victory.
“I’m quite happy that I was able to step up in the third set; that was very important,” she said.
Up next in the fourth round for last year’s Australian Open runner-up is the No.12 seed Belinda Bencic, who won 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 against Kateryna Bondarenko on Friday.