Good Evening! We're here with live commentary of the fourth round of the Australian Open where Maria Sharapova is about to take on Belinda Bencic for a place in the Quarter Finals. Just waiting for the action to get underway.
B. Bencic vs M. Sharapova | Australian Open
Women's Singles | Round 4 | 24.01.2016 | Melbourne
B. Bencic (12)
M. Sharapova (5)
Watch full highlights of the match:
On the bright future of Belinda Bencic, says Sharapova: "These are the players that will take our spot - but not just yet!"
Bencic 5-7 5-7 Sharapova challenges a decision - she was right to, it's in and she's won. She's understandably delighted (and a little surprised?), Bencic must be disappointed, it was a hard-fought match, but she gives Sharapova a smile anyway
Bencic 5-7 5-6 Sharapova. Bencic helps Sharapova out with a double fault. Sharapova looks nervous, Bencic looks angry. A splendid forehand from Sharapova takes us to match point.
Bencic 5-7 5-6 Sharapova. Bencic is chucking her racquet around again. Sharapova doesn't care, she just did a lovely one-two on her to win the game. Now she needs to break her serve, something tells me Bencic won't make it easy for her.
Bencic 5-7 5-5 Sharapova. Bencic holds her serve. So Sharapova will have to work a little harder if she wants this set. This feels familiar.
Bencic 3-3 5-7 Sharapova. Oddly, Bencic seems to repeatedly struggle to score the first point on her serve, but she's held on, anyway.
Bencic 7-5 2-2 Sharapova. Sharapova is not up to scratch, today. She's had a total of 35 unforced errors.
Bencic 5-7 1-2 Sharapova. Horrible service from Sharapova, here. Misses, double faults... but she manages to somehow hold her serve, regardless.
Bencic 5-7 0-1 Sharapova. Bencic is getting a bit aggro this evening. She was well on her way to not just breaking Sharapova’s serve but smashing into smithereens. Suffice it to say, it’s taken rather longer and well, she didn’t break it.
Bencic 5-7 Sharapova. Right, well we got there in the end
Bencic 5-5 Sharapova. There are a lot of "Come on!"s being hollered here. OH NO Bencic throws her racquet in frustration as she fluffs an attempt to catch Sharapova out, while she has the advantage. Her dropshot hits her side of the net NOT Sharapova's. (She also doesn't catch her racquet when it bounces back off the court, adding insult to injury). She wins the game to at least temporarily deprive Sharapova of the set in any case.
Bencic 4-3 Sharapova. Bencic has been struggling with her backhand, but her luck might be improving she converts her second break point as Sharapova returns her ball somewhere skywards.
And if you want to watch the game for yourself, you can! You can watch every shot on the Eurosport Player here: http://dnl.eurosport.com/player/redirect/autopromov8/tennis/australian-open/GB/notif.html
Bencic 3-2 Sharapova. Bencic gets the early break! Well, we weren't expecting that.
Bencic 2-2 Sharapova. Bencic's serve is a little slow at times. Sharapova smacks a great ball into the outer edge of the right service court. She responds with a clever shot to Sharapova's right side of the court which catches her off guard.
Bencic 1-1 Sharapova. Sharapova is 6’2” – the tallest woman in the competition, apparently. But the point is, of course, she’s got some reach on her. So what she lacks in the footwork... Well, it's not enough to break Bencic's serve just yet.