(2) Maria Sharapova vs (21) Peng Shuai
Maria Sharapova’s quest for a second Australian Open title continues on Sunday afternoon where she faces Peng Shuai for a spot in the Quarter-finals at Melbourne Park.
Maria Sharapova bounced back from an almighty scare in the second round to totally demolish Zarina Diyas 6-1 6-1 on Rod Laver Arena. Maria completely dictated play from the baseline, giving Zarina very few opportunities to step up and be aggressive.
Peng Shuai produced some excellent tennis in her 7-6 6-3 third round victory over Yaroslava Shvedova. Peng saved six set points in the opening set before eventually prevailing in a tiebreaker. Peng ultimately broke Yaroslava’s resistance late in the second set to reach the second week of a Grand Slam for a third consecutive occasion.
Maria Sharapova has a commanding 4-1 head to head record over the Chinese number one. The two haven’t play for a while, a 6-2 6-1 victory for Maria at Roland Garros in 2012 was the last meeting between the two.
Peng can be a tricky customer, however it’s highly likely that she will really struggle to deal with the power of the number two seed. I think Maria will prevail quite comfortably.
Prediction: Maria Sharapova to defeat Peng Shuai in straight sets