Sharapova overcomes gutsy Davis to reach fourth round

Maria-Sharapova-Australian- Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates after defeating Lauren Davis of the United States in their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Friday | AP

World number five Maria Sharapova on Friday battled past American rival Lauren Davis in three sets to advance to the fourth round of the Australian Open.

The five-time Grand Slam champion claimed a hard-fought 6-1, 6-7 (5-7), 6-0 win over Davis, who is currently ranked number 103 in the world.

Despite clinching the opening set with ease, the Russian tennis ace saw a spirited fightback from her American opponent to force a decider on Rod Laver Arena.

However, Sharapova bounced back with her service game in the third set and broke Davis three times on her way to a bagel, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

It was Sharapova’s 600th career win and will next face 12th seed Belinda Bencic for a quarterfinal spot.

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