MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Maria Sharapova recovered from the longest, hottest match of her career to beat No. 25 Alize Cornet 6-1, 7-6 (6) Saturday and reach the fourth round of the Australian Open.
The match was played in high humidity but in temperatures of about 22 Celsius (72 Fahrenheit), considerably cooler than the scorching 42 C (108 F) conditions she endured for 3 hours, 28 minutes in her second-round win over Karin Knapp. That preceded the first match suspensions under the tournament's Extreme Heat Policy since 2009.
Sharapova again struggled to close out, taking 50 minutes between her first and last match points in the second round and almost 30 minutes to finish off Cornet. She missed match point on Cornet's serve, then was broken twice when trying to serve for the match.