The Worlds Favourite Playground

Sunday, Oct 24th

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Five time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova made short work of Canadian sensation Eugenie Bouchard in the Quarter-finals of the Australian Open, beating the 20 year old future superstar 6-3 6-2 in just 78 minutes.

Bouchard was well off her game today and never really threatened to stretch Sharapova, committing 30 unforced errors, to hand the match to her Russian opponent without much of a fight.

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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.

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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.

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World No.2 and Brisbane top seed Maria Sharapova tonight survived a hard-fought battle royale against second seed Ana Ivanovic to claim her first Evonne Goolagong Trophy at the Brisbane International. The Russian ace prevailed in three tight sets, 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-3. to claim her first WTA Tour title of the new season and the 34th of her career.

In the women’s doubles final Swiss veteran Martina Hingis and Germany's Sabine Lisicki scored an upset victory over No.4 seeds Caroline Garcia of France and Slovakia's Katarina Srebotnik, taking the title in straight sets, , 6-2, 7-5. The Swiss-German team hasn't dropped a set all week, and will be hopeful of doing well at the Australian Open, an event Hingis has traditionally excelled at.

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A record eight Grand Slam champions will headline Brisbane International presented by Suncorp this summer, the highest number in the event’s six-year history.

Grand Slam champions Roger Federer (SUI), Juan Martin del Potro (ARG), Marin Cilic (CRO), Lleyton Hewitt (SA), Maria Sharapova (RUS), Ana Ivanovic (SRB), Sam Stosur (Qld) and Victoria Azarenka (BLR) will all descend on Brisbane in January to commence their 2015 campaigns.

Five of the world’s top 11 men – as well as 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro with an injury protected ranking of No.7 – and four of the top 10 women will feature at the event, setting the stage for a blockbuster week of on-court action.

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Can anybody stop Serena? Such is the dominance of the younger Williams on the WTA Tour that she has turned the entire field of women’s tennis into a hive where she is well and truly queen bee. Roger Federer had a similar hold on the men’s tour in the mid 2000’s but before that one would have to go back to arguably women’s tennis’ greatest ever exponent Fraulein Graf for this level of consistent dominance. But a Nadal did turn up as did a Seles to break the stronghold and perhaps we will that rise start here. Perhaps the latest nemesis is Victoria Azarenka. The Belarussian has claimed the last two Australian Opens and will look for a repeat on her favourite court.

The rest of the women’s draw does have a chaotic feel to it with a variety of talented stars – some capable of their moment in the sun such as Kvitova or Li Na and others more consistent but a shade short on the biggest stage including Errani or Kerber. And of course you have Sharapova who may have both but just can’t seem to get over the Serena hurdle. That may just be the motivation for one of the many youngsters on the WTA tour – to do a Sloane Stephens – and maybe set the tennis world alight. So who might do it? Let’s explore the draw to find out.

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Sugarpova, a premium candy line that reflects the fun, fashionable, sweet side of international tennis sensation Maria Sharapova announced today their partnership with the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum in Newport, R.I. Sugarpova is the new official sponsor and an underwriter of the Hall of Fame's Kids Free program, which provides free admission to the museum for children ages 16 and under, every day, year-round. The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is the sport's official, global Hall of Fame and the world's most comprehensive museum dedicated to the sport of tennis.

"I am honored and thrilled to partner Sugarpova with the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, particularly in support of such an important program," said Maria Sharapova, founder and creative director of Sugarpova, and the winner of four Grand Slam tournament titles. "I was lucky to discover the game at a young age, and I hope that visiting the museum will inspire young people to see the opportunities in tennis and the potential that exists when someone commits oneself to following a dream."

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