Sharapova laments poor second set


Maria Sharapova feels her third-round win over Lauren Davis was tougher than it should have been after her rollercoaster performance.

The Russian fifth seed eventually secured a 6-1 6-7 (5-7) 6-0 win over Davis after an inconsistent display on Rod Laver Arena on Friday.

In the first and third sets, Sharapova combined 25 winners with nine unforced errors, but she had 19 and 33 respectively in the second.

The five-time grand slam champion rued the second set despite still progressing.

"I felt like I made it a little bit more difficult than I should have. I definitely had a letup at 2-1, 30-0," Sharapova said.

"You know, I felt like I was hitting the ball well, doing the right things to get in that position, then letup. In a grand slam environment against anyone you can't expect to get away with it, and I didn't in the second set.

"But overall really happy with how I came out in the third and stepped up, considering it's been many weeks since I've been in that position. So I was happy with the way I finished.

"I think I can take a lot of good things from that."

Awaiting Sharapova in the fourth round is Belinda Bencic, the Swiss teenager having overcome Kateryna Bondarenko 4-6 6-2 6-4 earlier on Friday.

Sharapova is wary of the 18-year-old, who reached the US Open quarter-finals in 2014.

"An impressive player. A newer generation that's already established herself in the past season, beaten a lot of top players. It's a tough fourth round," she said.

"We haven't played against each other before, but I'm sure we'll be playing many times. It's great that we can start here."