Maria Sharapova refuses to let Australian Open exit dent Slam dreams

Maria Sharapova refuses to let Australian Open exit dent Slam dreams

The 22-year-old Australian gave up a tight first set before rallying and dominating the former World No. 1 in the second and early parts of the third, eventually advancing 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.

The reward for the victor is a quarter-final against either Marin Cilic, who Federer beat in the final previous year, or Roberto Bautista Agut, the man who ended Andy Murray's tournament and possibly his career.

Collins had never won a main draw Grand Slam match before arriving in Melbourne but has now defeated three seeded players as she needed only 56 minutes to dispense of the second seed. "She is a different kind of player when she's mixing it up a bit. If I can execute and do the right things, that's a bonus".

In Melbourne, Barty first didn't drop a set, overcame a mid-match hiccup where she required treatment for an apparent hip flexor issue against Greece's Maria Sakkari in the third round and, most noticeably, overcame a one-set deficit against Sharapova.

'I think it would be tough for me to be doing all the work and putting in all the effort if I didn't really believe that, ' she added.

"I'm the happiest man on Earth right now, I can not describe it", said the 14th seed, who is the first Greek in history to reach the quarter-finals of a Slam.

It is not beyond her to win Tuesday's quarter-final against the eighth seed Petra Kvitova, who beat her in the Sydney International final last weekend, and went through here in a tick under an hour to beat the American teenager Amanda Anisimova 6-2, 6-1 in the opening match on the showpiece court.

"I mean, she's within the rules of the game", she said.

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"I have given myself the opportunity and the chance to play in front of the best crowd in the world on one of the best courts in the world and in my home slam. It's great to be in the quarter-finals, but I know how hard it is to win a grand slam".

"I think that's a silly question to ask", Sharapova said post-match.

Barty herself says she never closed the door to tennis but after finding she didn't enjoy it that much even when she was winning, she didn't necessarily expect to come back either.

Alyssa Roenigk is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine and whose assignments have taken her to six continents and caused her to commit countless acts of recklessness.

Collins, who has played much of her tennis in the United States collegiate system, was a resounding underdog against three-time Grand Slam champion Kerber but breezed through to win 6-0 6-2 in just 56 minutes.

Not just the 6-0, 6-2 scoreline Sunday that eliminated a three-time Grand Slam champion and put the unseeded Collins in the quarterfinals.

She beat five-time Grand Slam victor Maria Sharapova, the 2008 Australian titlist with a profile that transcends the sport, in a fourth-round match on Sunday that had the partisan crowd - including the prime minister - in raptures. She was so strong mentally, and she show us, she tells us, "Don't worry, guys, I will come back and I will be strong. It's really exciting and I'm really pumped to have another chance here in Melbourne". Everybody gets their shot at the pie. She's not going to back down.