Sports Tennis 20 Jan 2018 Australian Open 2018 ...

Australian Open 2018: Kerber thrashes Sharapova; Chung stuns Alex Zverev

REUTERS
Published Jan 20, 2018, 4:55 pm IST
Updated Jan 20, 2018, 6:48 pm IST
Despite winning the first and third sets with some stunning tennis, the 20-year-old Zverev could not shake off the relentless Chung.
Sharapova, back in Melbourne after testing positive for a banned substance here in 2016 resulting in a 15-month ban, had looked menacing in the opening two rounds. (Photo: AP)
 Sharapova, back in Melbourne after testing positive for a banned substance here in 2016 resulting in a 15-month ban, had looked menacing in the opening two rounds. (Photo: AP)

Melbourne: South Korean Hyeon Chung does not appear especially intimidating with his Zen-like demeanour and white-framed spectacles but as German wunderkind Alex Zverev will testify, the 21-year-old should come with a health warning.

Fourth seed Zverev went into their Australian Open third-round clash of rising stars as favourite and with many tipping him as a potential winner of the tournament.

 

Despite winning the first and third sets with some stunning tennis, however, the 20-year-old could not shake off the relentless Chung and ended up caving in 5-7 7-6(3) 2-6 6-3 6-0.

Zverev was a broken man by the time the deciding set began and Chung needed just 23 minutes to put him out of his misery and become just the third South Korean to progress to the fourth round of a grand slam.

A match that had begun with Zverev playing exemplary tennis ended with him complaining about the light and smashing rackets.

It was hard to blame him though as playing 58th-ranked Chung must have felt like slamming your head into a brick wall -- such is his court coverage and ability to soak up punishment.

 

Sharapova's dream return hopes crushed

Maria Sharapova’s hopes of a title-winning return to the Australian Open were unceremoniously crushed by Angelique Kerber as the battle of the former champions ended 6-1 6-3 in the German’s favour on Saturday.

Sharapova, back in Melbourne after testing positive for a banned substance here in 2016 resulting in a 15-month ban, had looked menacing in the opening two rounds.

But Kerber, who plummeted down the rankings last year after finishing the year before at number one, broke her serve in the first game of the match and that set the tone for what followed.

 

She streaked away with the first set and although 2008 champion Sharapova briefly threatened a fightback after falling behind in the second, it was not to be the Russian’s night.

A fluffed drop shot attempt at 3-4 followed by an unforced error gave 2016 champion Kerber breathing space and she finished the contest in the next game.

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