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Sharapova comes back from match point down to win

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World no.2 Maria Sharapova battled back from match points down to beat fellow Russian Alexandra Panova in the second round of the Australian Open.

Panova, ranked 150 in the world, made her way into the main draw through the qualifying rounds last week, and came perilously close to pulling off the biggest upset of her career.

Sharapova raced through the opening set 6-1, and at that stage it looked like yet another routine outing for the 5-time Grand Slam champion, however, 25 year old Panova pulled off a major surprise, coming back to win the second set 6-4.


Panova then raced to a 4-1 lead in the decider, up a double break, and the writing appeared to be on the wall for Sharapova. However, the 27 year old Russian is known for her never say die attitude and her willingness to go for her shots irrespective of the scoreline, and Sharapova's gumption once again came to her rescue.

Panova was a point away from a 5-1 lead, but Sharapova rallied to break serve and claw her way back into the contest.

Panova was also within sniffing distance of the third round when she earned a couple of match points in the 10th game, but Sharapova produced incredible winners to save both.

In the end, Sharapova's experience saw her over the line as she won 6 of the last 7 games to close out the match, 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 in a little over 2½ hours.