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Sharapova v Garbin gamewatch

Australian Open, Melbourne Park

Third round result:

M Sharapova (Rus) v T Garbin (It)

6-3 6-1

* denotes server


By Caroline Cheese

Second set

Sharapova 6-3 6-1 Garbin
It took longer than many expected thanks to a determined effort from Garbin – particularly in the first set – but Sharapova is through to face either fellow Russian Vera Zvonareva or Ana Ivanovic.

Sharapova 6-3 5-1 Garbin
Sharapova’s dad Yuri looks to have a relaxed a little bit now – he’s clapping enthusiastically now instead of clenching his fist. Rughtly so for Sharapova is a game away from the last 16.

Sharapova 6-3 4-1 Garbin
Still completely focused on the job still to be done, Sharapova holds to 30. She has hit 24 winner today – compared to Garbin’s five.

Sharapova 6-3 3-1 Garbin
Sharapova breaks when Garbin nets a forehand and surely the Russian is well on her way now.

Sharapova 6-3 2-1 Garbin
A bit of comedy on Rod Laver Arena. First up, Garbin hits a dreadful overhead wide of the tramline then a linesman wakes everyone up with his extremely loud calling. He might quieten down a bit now though as Sharapova rightly challenges one of his calls.

Sharapova 6-3 1-1 Garbin
Garbin keeps herself in it with a hold – but holding off the inevitable, I fear.

Sharapova 6-3 1-0 Garbin
Sharapova’s focus is frightening. She holds serve in the opening game and shouts ‘Come on’ like she’s won Wimbledon. That’ll be why she’s the world number one…

First set

Sharapova 6-3 Garbin
A 12th forehand winner from Sharapova brings up a first set point. Her 13th completes a surprisingly difficult first set for the top seed.

Sharapova 5-3 Garbin
Sharapova may be the number one player in the world but she’s not above a superstition or two. The Russian has a routine when she serves which involves only taking balls from a certain side. At one point, her favoured ballboy doesn’t have any balls to give her and Sharapova gives him a glare. One game from the opening set now and maybe Garbin’s resistance is broken.

Sharapova 4-3 Garbin
Does anyone want to hold serve? Sharapova breaks to love and now the pressure is right back on the Italian – whose best career win was a 2005 upset of Justine Henin-Hardenne at the French Open.

Sharapova 3-3 Garbin
What was I saying? This is great stuff from Garbin. A swinging forehand return winner earns her three break-back points. Sharapova puts a terrible forehand into the bottom of the net and suddenly we’re back all square.

Sharapova 3-2 Garbin
Right then, since she’s not going to be in this tournament much longer, let’s learn a little bit more about Tathiana Garbin before she leaves us. First up, her nickname is Tax although on her fansite they call her Tathy. Tax/Tathy is 40-15 ahead but Sharapova battles back and secures her third game in a row.

Sharapova 2-2 Garbin
It’s raining so the roof’s on Rod Laver Arena but such is the humidity that both players have got ice packs to cool down during the changeovers. Meanwhile, Sharapova has abandoned the idea of attacking the net and is back to smacking groundstrokes from the baseline. She holds to love.

Sharapova 1-2 Garbin
Stung into action, Sharapova breaks straight back, hitting two crunching forehands to get back in it. She and dad Yuri punch the air.

Sharapova 0-2 Garbin
Garbin is happily rallying from the back, waiting for Sharapova to make a mistake, and the Russian is obliging a bit too often at the moment. The top seed saves two break points but she can’t save the third.

Sharapova 0-1 Garbin
Lovely start for Garbin who flicks a forehand past Sharapova at the net to take the first point. It look like Sharapova fancies a bit of volleying practice today because she makes a few approaches. Garbin holds to 30.

  • Not much to be said in the build-up to this match as Sharapova and 30th seed Garbin are about to meet for the first time. The world number one is clearly the favourite. She spent 58 minutes on court in the last round so let’s see if can she beat that today…

    Story from BBC SPORT: