Health Care

Clinical Kerber defeats Sharapova at Open

Russia's Maria Sharapova celebrates after she won over Germany's Tatjana Maria during their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne Australia Tuesday Jan. 16 2018

Angelique Kerber of Germany celebrates winning against Maria Sharapova of Russian Federation.

A much-hyped match between two former Australian champions was no contest: 2016 victor Angelique Kerber beat Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-3 on Rod Laver Arena to open the night program.

Sharapova was back at the Australian Open for the first time since 2016, when a failed doping test led to a 15-month ban from tennis.

When a backhand return victor brought up a break point and a trademark yell of "C'mon!" from Sharapova, you thought she might be on the point of turning the match on its head.

Dark horse David Goffin's Australian Open hopes went up in smoke as he fell to a 1-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 7- 6 (7-4) to French veteran Julien Benneteau while Juan Martin del Potro fired 60 winners on his way to a 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (0-7) 6-4 victory over young Russian Karen Khachanov.

The German rose to world number one during a 2016 that yielded success in Melbourne and at the US Open, but she plummeted down the rankings after failing to match those standards last season.

Six-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic continued his comeback from six months out with an injured right elbow with a 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 win over No. 21 Albert Ramos-Vinolas to move into the fourth round for a sixth consecutive major.

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-Alexander "Sascha" Zverev says he's lost the crucial moments in his last three Grand Slams defeats. "But looking at the overall picture, the overall beginning of this year, finishing the tournament, the first thing is that I'm healthy".

The pair had played each other on seven occasions before Saturday, with Kerber edging the series 4-3 including their previous two meetings, the last of which came on the Stuttgart clay in 2015. "I will try to continue my run and playing good like I played also here like the last two matches". My ankle is, I don't know how it is because I don't feel it anymore, but it was nice to be on court. Along the way, he has won five of his 19 Grand Slam singles titles. "I think it was a good decision to do it".

Halep will next play Naomi Osaka, who beat 18th-seeded Ash Barty 6-4, 6-2.

In the next round, Garcia is scheduled to face Madison Keys of the United States, the 17th seed, who got the better of Romania's Ana Bogdan 6-3, 6-4.

Federer entered the Australian Open a year ago under similar circumstances, coming off an extended break for a knee injury, and went on to win the title.

Another unexpected loss at a major had the highly touted Zverev admitting he may have a problem. As I said, this is a process.

Fifth-seeded Dominic Thiem has advanced to the fourth round at Melbourne Park, beating Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 on Margaret Court Arena.