Still untested, Sharapova moves to 4th round - NBC Sports

Still untested, Sharapova moves to 4th round
No. 3 seed routs NCAA runner-up; Defending champ Stosur struggles
Maria Sharapova has lost onlyÿseven games over her first three matches of this year's U.S. Open.
August 31, 2012, 10:08 pm

No. 3 seed Maria Sharapova won 12 of the last 13 points of her match Friday to defeat NCAA runner-up Mallory Burdette 6-1, 6-1 and advance to the fourth round of the U.S. Open.

Sharapova, who completed the career Grand Slam earlier this year at the French Open, needed only 58 minutes at 90-degree Arthur Ashe Stadium to wrap up the win over Burdette, who will be a senior at Stanford this year.

Sharapova has not been tested so far this year at Flushing Meadows, losing a total of seven games over her first three matches.

Sharapova reeled off 12 of the last 13 points and needed only 58 minutes to wrap up the victory. It's only the second time Sharapova has reached the fourth round at the U.S. Open since winning the title in 2006.

She completed a career Grand Slam by winning the French Open in early June.

"Took a little bit of a break after Wimbledon and went home. I think I kind of recharged a little bit," said Sharapova, who will face No. 19 Nadia Petrova next. "Certainly feel a lot more energy than I did maybe after the French."

Since winning the U.S. Open in 2006, this is only the second time Sharapova has advanced to the round of 16.

Meanwhile, defending champion Sam Stosur was pushed for the first time in this year's U.S. Open by American Varvara Lepchenko, but dominated the second set after winning the first in a tiebreaker.

The seventh-seeded Stosur won 7-6 (5), 6-2 in the third round. She had dropped just five games through her first two matches.

It was still a successful Open for the 31st-seeded Lepchenko. After reaching at least the third round in three straight Grand Slam events, she'll likely climb into the top 30 in the rankings.

For the second time in three matches, top-seeded Victoria Azarenka dropped only a single game, beating No. 28 Zheng Jie of China 6-0, 6-1 to move to the fourth round of the U.S.

Azarenka, who won the Australian Open to start the Grand Slam season, took the court shortly after Andy Roddick's straight-set victory over Bernard Tomic. She finished in 59 minutes and the fans were headed home by 10:15 p.m. - another early finish at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Azarenka won 50 of the 77 points against Zheng, who has never been past the third round at Flushing Meadows.

So far, Azarenka has lost only six games in three matches over the first week.

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