24 Jan 2012

Sharapova pushed to the edge on way to quarter-finals

6:08 am on 24 January 2012

Maria Sharapova hammered her way into the quarter-finals of the Australian Tennis Open but only after some tense moments in a third-set decider against Germany's Sabine Lisicki.

The fourth-seeded Russian had to blunt the powerful ground strokes and blistering service returns of the 14th seeded Lisicki and fought off five break points in the third game of the final set to turn the match her way.

The Russian's confidence grew enough for her to break Lisicki's serve in the sixth game of the set, which essentially sealed the victory as she ran out a 3-6 6-2 6-3 winner.

The 24-year-old will face countrywoman Ekaterina Makarova in the last eight after the world number 56 knocked American Serena Williams out of the tournament.