Maria Sharapova, the number 2 seed in the Australian open was on the verge of defeat against Alexandra Panova, World number 150 as the latter got 2 match points which were saved by Maria. Sharapova held on her nerves to counter the 2 match points and in an immense display of grit and determination, the Number 2 seed player got over the defeat to win an intense battle.

 Maria Sharapova got over the line but not so easily as she beat A. Panova by 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 on Wednesday. Maria Sharapova won the first set quite comfortably by 6-1. However, she soon lost her rhytm and lost the second set. At a brink of defeat and looking at disqualification at the prelimary stages, Sharavpova’s determination came to the fore and it took the control of her game. She displayed some discilipned and agressive Tennis which the world no. 150 Panova might not have seen in her entire lifetime.

Soaked under pressure of the big match against Sharavpova and coming close to beat her, she made an absolute mess of things at the finish which cost ther the chance to move ahead in the tournament and upset, perhaps the winner of this years Australian open. Sharapova was down by 5-2 at one point in the final set, with Panova serving for the match but Panova unfortunately couldn’t hold on the nerves and the game as Sharapova broke her and gave her another fighting chance.

“I was down two breaks in the third; the only belief I had was just try to get into the rallies,” Sharapova said.

“She served some really good games out there where I didn’t have much chances. When I did, I thought I could put a little more thought into her mind, get those first serves back. I think that was really important.”

“I’m just happy to get through,” a relieved Sharapova said courtside after the 152-minute match. “I was not playing my best tennis. Twice I was one point away from being through in this tournament. “But sometimes when you are not playing your best, it’s just good enough to get through and that’s what I did today.” Sharapova also praised Panova and said that she played an inspiring match.


    Archit Athani

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