Maria Sharapova admits casualness marred her play at Australian Open

Maria Sharapova is through to the next round in Australia
Maria Sharapova is through to the next round in Australia

Maria Sharapova admits she took her foot off the gas as the Russian survived a scare to beat American Lauren Davis at the Australian Open.

Sharapova conceded only one game in the first and third sets but in between Davis levelled when she won the second-set tie-break.

The world number 103 was unable to carry her momentum into the decider, however, as Sharapova sealed a 6-1 6-7 (5/7) 6-0 win.

She said: “I felt like I made it a little bit more difficult than I should have. I was hitting the ball well, doing the right things to get in that position, then let up.

“In a grand slam environment against anyone you can’t expect to get away with it, and I didn’t in the second set.

“But overall I’m really happy with how I came out in the third and stepped up, considering it’s been many weeks since I’ve been in that position. So I was happy with the way I finished.”

She will now meet talented Swiss Belinda Bencic in the fourth round.

“She’s an impressive player. A newer generation that’s already established herself in the past season, beaten a lot of top players.”