Maria is through to the quarters of the Australian Open in Melbourne after a tough two-set win over No.12 seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland.
Maria defeated the 18-year-old, 7-5 7-5 in two hours and five minutes.
For the third match in a row, the match was played under the roof due to rain.
In the first set, Bencic got the first break to lead 3-2. Three consecutive breaks followed and at 5-4, Maria had two set points on Bencic’s serve but was unable to convert them. At 6-5, Bencic was serving to stay in the set, and Maria broke again on her fourth set point when her opponent hit a backhand wide. 7-5 in 64 minutes.
The were no breaks of serve until the twelfth game of the second serve when Maria broke Bencic in the final game. Maria won on her second match point when she won a challenge on a backhand return winner. 7-5 in 61 minutes.
On Tuesday, Maria will face No.1 seed Serena Williams of the United States. Maria has played Williams twenty times before and trails the series 2-18.