Melbourne, Australia • Maria Sharapova recovered from the longest, hottest match of her career to beat Alize Cornet 6-1, 7-6 (6) Saturday and reach the fourth round of the Australian Open.
Her third-round match was played in high humidity but in temperatures of about 72 degrees, considerably cooler than the scorching 108-degree conditions she endured for 3 hours, 28 minutes in her second-round win over Karin Knapp two days previously. That preceded the first match suspensions under the tournament's Extreme Heat Policy in five years.
Again, though, Sharapova struggled to close out. She took 50 minutes between her first and last match points against Knapp, and needed almost 30 minutes to finish off Cornet she missed a match point with a wayward backhand on the Frenchwoman's serve and then got broken twice while trying to serve for the match.