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Sharapova - Bouchard to clash in Australian Open Quarter-finals

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The poster-girl of women's tennis Maria Sharapova, and the heir apparent to her throne Eugenie Bouchard will collide in the Quarter-finals of the Australian Open next week.

World no.2 Sharapova booked her pre-anointed place in the last 8 with a 6-3, 6-0 hammering of Shuai Peng of China in the fourth round today. Canadian starlet Bouchard looked poised to go one better than Sharapova as she raced into a 6-1, 3-0 lead against Irina-Camelia Begu before a second set collapse forced her match into a decider. Bouchard ultimately regained her composure to prevail 6-1, 5-7, 6-2.

The 7th seeded Canadian is yet to beat Sharapova, having lost each of their three meetings thus far. However, she will take heart from coming close to upstaging the 27 year old Russian diva when they collided in the French Open semi-finals last year with Sharapova squeezing out a 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 win in just under 2½ hours.

Sharapova discussed her opponent in her post match press conference, sharing, "She's (Eugenie) a pretty aggressive player. She stays really close to the line, she likes to dictate the points. Yeah, I feel that's where she's hurt a lot of players and been really successful."

She added, "She's been playing really well in this tournament and also in the slams the last year. Really confident tennis and inspired form. I expect her to come out and play a really good match. I think we only played each other one time last year, which was at the French. That was a really tough match for me. I had to come back from being down one set to Love. Yeah, I'm sure she'll come out and play extremely well."

Also advancing to the last eight today was Russian Ekaterina Makarova. Makarova cruised into the quarter-finals with a routine 6-3, 6-2 win against Germany's Julia Goerges. Makarova will take on the winner of the match between Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium and 3rd seed Simona Halep of Romania.

Abridged Scores:

Maria Sharapova d Peng Shuai 6-3 6-0.

Ekaterina Makarova d Julia Goerges 6-3 6-2.

Eugenie Bouchard d Irina-Camelia Begu 6-1 5-7 6-2.