Maria is through to the fourth round of the Australian Open in Melbourne after she defeated no.25 seed Alize Cornet of France 6-1 7-6 in an hour and 51 minutes.
Maria raced into a 4-0 lead in the first set. Cornet got one of the breaks back in the fifth game. Maria broke Cornet for a third time in the sixth game when Cornet hit a shot wide. Maria served for the in game seven and won the set 6-1 in 32 minutes when Cornet hit a shot long.
In the second set, Cornet took a 3-1 lead. In the next game, Maria got the set back on serve when Cornet double-faulted. At 3-3, Maria hit an inside-out forehand winner to break Cornet to lead 4-3. At 5-3, Maria had one matchpoint on Cornet’s serve but was unable to take it and was broken in the next game while serving for the match. Maria broke again to lead 6-5 and was unable to serve for the match in the twelfth game and the set was decided by a tie-break. Maria won the tie-break 8-6 on her second match point when Cornet hit a shot long.
In Monday’s fourth round match, Maria will face no.20 seed Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia. Maria has played the 24-year-old five times before and leads the series 3-2. Here are the matches they have played against each other:
2008 Amelia Island Final: Maria won 7-6 6-3
2008 Rome R2: Maria won 6-2 3-6 6-4
2009 French Open QF: Cibulkova won 6-0 6-2
2011 Madrid R3: Cibulkova won 7-5 6-4
2011 Wimbledon QF: Maria won 6-1 6-1