Sharapova and Bouchard advance at Aussie Open

Maria Sharapova of Russia serves to Peng Shuai of China during their fourth round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)


By John Pye ,AP

MELBOURNE, Australia — Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal put earlier stumbles behind them to complete convincing wins Sunday and move into the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.

French Open champion Sharapova was broken once in the first set before winning the last eight games of her 6-3, 6-0 fourth-round victory over No. 21-seeded Peng Shuai, advancing her to a showdown with No. 7 Eugenie Bouchard, the most consistent player in women’s majors last season.

Seventh-seeded Bouchard won nine of the first 10 games against Irina-Camelia Begu, but lost seven of the next nine to be pushed to a third set for the first time in the tournament.

After serving a double-fault on set point to end the second, Bouchard took a short break before returning to complete a 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 win over No. 42-ranked Begu, who had taken out No. 9-seeded Angelique Kerber in the first round.

��I gave myself a good, long hard look in the mirror,�� Bouchard explained of her brief absence from Rod Laver Arena. ��I said, ‘Genie, this is unacceptable.’ I really kind of kicked myself in the butt a little bit.��

Nadal’s 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 win over towering Kevin Anderson turned on two games at the end of the first set. Nadal fended off five break points to hold serve, and then broke the 2.03-meter (6-foot-8) tall South African’s serve in the next game to go on a roll in his fourth-round encounter. He will next face No. 7 Tomas Berdych, who had a 6-2, 7-6 (3), 6-2 win over local hope Bernard Tomic.