Wednesday, 13 November, 2019

Sharapova raps Australian Open organizers over late scheduling

Britain's Johanna Konta plays a backhand return to Spain's Garbine Muguruza during their women's singles match on day four of the Australian Open Britain's Johanna Konta plays a backhand return to Spain's Garbine Muguruza during their women's singles match on day four of the Australian Open
Shannon Reynolds | 20 January, 2019, 23:11

Former world number one Maria Sharapova has urged Australian Open organisers to be more flexible with match scheduling after Garbine Muguruza and Johanna Konta played out their second round clash after midnight to a near-empty stadium.

"I'm going for breakfast now".

The start was delayed when the men's match between Alexander Zverev and Jeremy Chardy turned into a three-hour-46-minute epic, ending 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 5-7, 6-7 (6/8), 6-1 for Germany's Zverev.

"However, Garbine and I were both in the same position and, with the circumstances, we really put on a great match and it's just a shame more people couldn't enjoy it".

"I mean, you could move them on an outside-court, but then the atmosphere might be quite sad, you know".

An exhausted Konta said the situation should never have arisen. "I don't think it's ideal for anyone to do any physical activity when it's bedtime", Konta said with a chuckle.

Although Konta did not come out on top of this one, this was a performance from the British number one that harked back to her form of two years ago, when she appeared a legitimate grand slam challenger, and should give her plenty of confidence for the season ahead.

The opening set was decided in the very first game when Muguruza fashioned the lead and she served well in the remaining games to close the set 6-4.

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He also suggested flanker Tom Curry and injured Bath openside Sam Underhill could play "a number of positions on the field". The game used to be 80 minutes, now it is 100 minutes. "He is a great player", Jones said of Nowell.

"We were actually going to go out to court three to start".

The day four night session at the Australian Open broke all kinds of records, with Jo Konta and Garbine Muguruza finding out the hard way that Melbourne Park never sleeps.

Konta's challenging had been slightly errant, but she made an excellent call to ask for a review on her first set point, leading the Spaniard 6-3.

The victor of the previous year is the Australian Open, meanwhile, is excreted out.

Self-assured Svitolina dismantled Viktoria Kuzmova of Slovakia 6-4, 6-1 to make the third round, while Pliskova woke up after losing the first set to race past Madison Brengle 4-6 6-1 6-0. "Like who cares?", Muguruza said on court'.

There is no solution, I think.

This had dwindled further by the time Muguruza drove her final decisive backhand into the corner, so that there were only a couple of hundred left to see her complete the victory.

Muguruza will now play Swiss Timea Bacsinszky for a place in the fourth round.

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