Sharapova battles past Bencic

Updated: 

Maria Sharapova has battled into yet another Australian Open quarter-final after a hard-fought straight-sets win over Swiss teenager Belinda Bencic.

The Russian five-time grand slam champion was made to work hard for a 7-5 7-5 win under the Rod Laver Arena roof on Sunday.

Sharapova needed two hours, five minutes to complete her victory as 18-year-old Bencic, the 12th seed, battled hard in the fourth-round clash.

But the fifth seed's power was eventually too much as 21 aces and 20 forehand winners helped her advance to the last eight.

After managing early holds, there were four-straight breaks as both players targeted the other's second serve.

Sharapova managed to tough out a hold for 5-4 and Bencic did the same, saving two set points in the 10th game.

Another gritty hold was followed by the break Sharapova needed as she took a gruelling opening set in 64 minutes.

The breaks of serve stopped in the second set until the crucial 12th game, when the match ended in usual circumstances.

A Sharapova backhand was called out, but she challenged and was proven right as the shot hit the baseline to see her clinch victory and reach the last eight in Melbourne for an eighth time.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN

Sharapova [5] bt Bencic [12] 7-5 7-5

ACES

Sharapova - 21

Bencic - 0

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Sharapova - 58/46

Bencic - 10/19

BREAK POINTS WON

Sharapova - 4/16

Bencic - 2/5

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE

Sharapova - 47

Bencic - 60

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE

Sharapova - 85/45

Bencic - 61/47

TOTAL POINTS

Sharapova - 95

Bencic - 82