Australian Open, Day 8: Sharapova shocked, Nadal, Federer cruise
Maria Sharapova crashed out of the Australian Open in another seismic shock Monday as Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Victoria Azarenka saw off challenges to keep their title bids intact.
Roger Federer downed French 10th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets to storm into the quarter-finals at the Australian Open on Monday. The Swiss sixth seed won 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 in one hour 52 minutes and will now face British fourth seed Andy Murray in the last eight. (All AP and AFP images)
World number one Rafael Nadal fought off a spirited challenge from Japan's Kei Nishikori to win through to the quarter-finals. The Spaniard won 7-6 (7/3), 7-5, 7-6 (7/3) in three hours 17 minutes and will play Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov in the last eight.
Andy Murray was taken to four sets and smashed his racquet in frustration before finally ending 'lucky loser' Stephane Robert's dream run at the Australian Open.
Stephane Robert exited with his head held high. The 33-year-old was the first lucky loser -- someone who loses in qualifying, but gains a place via a withdrawal -- to reach the tournament's last 16, and the oldest man since Andre Agassi in 2005.
Grigor Dimitrov became the first Bulgarian man to qualify for a Grand Slam quarter-final with victory. The 22nd seed, nicknamed "Baby Fed" because his game resembles Roger Federer's, ousted unseeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 in two hours 24 minutes.
Leander Paes and his Slovakian partner Daniela Hantuchova, unseeded in the tournament, scored an upset victory over eighth seeds Mahesh Bhupathi and Elena Vesnina of Russia 6-0 2-6 10-6 to make it to the quarterfinals of the mixed doubles.
Rohan Bopanna and his partner Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia also entered the quarter-finals of the mixed doubles event after posting 7-6(5) 7-5 win over Australian duo of Ashleigh Barty and John Peers.
Sania Mirza and Horia Tecau to outplay Anastasia Rodionova and Colin Fleming 6-2, 6-2 in mixed doubles pre-quarterfinal match. Sania and Cara Black beat Eugenie Bouchard and Vera Dushevina 6-4 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals of the women's doubles.
Victoria Azarenka blasted past young American Sloane Stephens and into the quarter-finals as the defending champion started hitting top form.
Experienced fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska overpowered unheralded Spaniard Garbine Muguruza in straight sets to reach her fourth consecutive Australian Open quarter-final.
Simona Halep roared back from a mid-match wobble against former world number one Jelena Jankovic to fulfil a dream and reach her first Grand Slam quarter-final.
Third seed Maria Sharapova was knocked out by Slovak Dominika Cibulkova, the second major upset in as many days. The Russian, who took a medical timeout between the second and third sets, crashed 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 against the 20th seed in the fourth round to follow Serena Williams out of the tournament.
Russian star Maria Sharapova Monday revealed she was struggling with a hip injury but refused to blame it for her shock loss at the Australian Open and insisted she will bounce back.