Caroline Wozniacki’s reign as Australian Open champion ended with a three-set defeat by Maria Sharapova in the third round.
The battle of two of the biggest names in the game did not disappoint but in the end Sharapova’s fierce hitting won the day as she surged to a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 victory on Rod Laver Arena.
The Russian said: “I thought the level was quite high. I knew I was going to get a really tough match. I haven’t played a lot of matches in the last year, especially against top players. These are the matches you train for and it’s really rewarding to win the last point.”
Wozniacki is the highest-ranked opponent Sharapova has beaten since her first-round victory over Simona Halep at the US Open in 2017.
That was her first grand slam tournament back after her 15-month doping ban and at the time seemed to be a sign of the Russian’s impending resurgence