Sunday, 25 January 2015

Peng shown no mercy by Maria

Maria Sharapova has had one large fright this tournament, but apart from that near exit against Panova she has been pretty dominant.  Peng Shuai has done extremely well in the majors of late - semi final at Flushing Meadow 2014 and continuing here to the fourth round.  If she were to advance further her serve would need to hold up against the barrage of ground strokes emanating from the Sharapova racquet, and even that may be insufficient to complete the job.

Sharapova opened well holding serve with a combination of winning ground strokes and Peng was even more impressive, holding to love behind a strong serve.
A Sharapova double fault didn't block her way to another hold and she had a 2-1 edge.

Peng evened things, an ace to win the final point and then Sharapova selected a few of her shots from the top shelf to first hold serve impressively then break the Chinese serve and lead 4-2.

The next game was a long one and Maria saved several break points but the final one was too much and a double fault and loose ground stroke gave back the break to Peng.

Sharapova blitzed Peng with her forehand to restore the break, then held to love to take set one 6-3.

Despite a pitiful first serve percentage in the second set, Sharapova was released to create total mayhem on Rod Laver Arena.  She thrashed Peng Shuai in every facet of the game once the ball was in play and if she can work on sending more first serves into play she will cause many more headaches next week.

Sharapova into the quarter finals 6-3 6-0.

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