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Maria’s dream run continues

Second seed Maria Sharapova raced into the Australian Open quarterfinals on Sunday as she beat unseeded Belgian Kirsten Flipkens in straight sets.

The world number two, a finalist at Melbourne Park last year, blitzed to a 6-1, 6-0 win and will next face fellow Russia’s 19th seed Ekaterina Makarova, whom she beat in the last eight in 2012.

Sharapova has been in rampant form here and has only dropped five games in four matches so far in her bid for a second Australian title, after lifting the trophy in 2008.

Fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska powered into the Australian Open quarterfinals on Sunday with a straight-sets win over former world number one Ana Ivanovic.

The Pole won her 13th match in a row in beating the Serbian 13th seed 6-2, 6-4 and will face Chinese sixth seed Li Na for a place in the semifinals.

Chinese star Li Na advanced to the Australian Open last eight on Sunday, beating Julia Goerges in her quest to make a second final at Melbourne Park in three years.

Sixth seed Li beat the 18th-seeded German 7-6 (8/6), 6-1 and will play fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska for a place in the last four.

Powerful Czech Tomas Berdych moved into the quarterfinals of the Australian Open on Sunday with a straight-sets victory over South African Kevin Anderson.

The world number six defeated Anderson 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (15/13) in 2hr 44min.

David Ferrer wore down Japan’s Kei Nishikori over three physical sets to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals for a third straight year on Sunday.

The Spanish fourth seed was far too consistent and disciplined for the 16th-seeded Nishikori, winning 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 in 2hr 10min in rising temperatures.


MAKAROVA KNOCKS OUT KERBER

Russian 19th seed Ekaterina Makarova knocked world number five German Angelique Kerber out of the Australian Open on her way into the quarterfinals on Sunday. Makarova, who also made the last eight in 2012, came out on top of a tough battle 7-5, 6-4 and will play second seed Maria Sharapova for a place in the semifinals. ‘It’s an unbelievable feeling. My team has done a great job and I’m so happy,’ said Makarova, who lost to Sharapova in the quarters last year.
 

DJOKER WINS FIVE-SET THRILLER

Novak Djokovic lived on in the fight to defend his Australian Open crown with an extraordinary five-hour, five-set win over Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka to reach the quarter-finals on Sunday. The Serb world number one had to dig deep to see off 15th-seeded Wawrinka’s brave challenge before prevailing 1-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 12-10 in a draining 5hr 2min match. Djokovic somehow has to regroup for his quarter-final on Tuesday against Czech fifth seed Tomas Berdych. Wawrinka, the Swiss Davis Cup partner of Roger Federer, produced arguably his finest match to take the three-time Australian Open champion Djokovic to the brink in a desperately-fought 104-minute final set.
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