Defending champ gone: Sharapova ousts Wozniacki in Australia

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Maria Sharapova showed that she’s ready to be a Grand Slam factor once again, eliminating defending champion Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to reach the Australian Open’s fourth round.

Sharapova’s victory Friday was built on aggressive groundstrokes that gave her a 37-10 edge in total winners.

She is seeded only 30th at Melbourne Park, where she won the 2008 title for one of her five Grand Slam trophies but hasn’t been past the quarterfinals since 2015.

Wozniacki was the No. 3 seed in Australia, a year after beating Simona Halep in the final here to claim her first major championship.

Next for Sharapova is a matchup against No. 15 Ash Barty of Australia.

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Russia’s Maria Sharapova celebrates a point win over Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki during their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
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