Russian tennis superstar Maria Sharapova is set to face Ashleigh Barty in the fourth round of the 2019 WTA Australian Open.
Ashleigh Barty won her third-round match in a dominant manner as she beat Maria Sakari. It was a simple win as Barty won 4 break points to win the match in straight sets. During the win, Ashleigh Barty served exceptionally well as she had a first serve percentage of 67%. Barty won over 70% of her service points and that allowed her to win 90% of her service games. The Australian Open is Ashleigh Barty’s home Grand Slam and she is getting huge support from her home crowd. Playing against Maria Sharapova is never an easy task but with the crowd on her side, Barty will feel that she can challenge her opponent.
On the other side of the court, Maria Sharapova had a big win in the previous round as she eliminated the reigning champion, Caroline Wozniacki. It was a good performance by Sharapova as she won 5 return games while only losing 3 service games. Sharapova has an exceptional record at the Australian Open as she won the title in 2008. Maria Sharapova is hugely experienced and has good form meaning she will be confident about playing this match.
Maria Sharapova and Ashleigh Barty have played once in the past. The match was played in 2018 at the WTA Rome Masters where Maria Sharapova won in straight sets.
Taking everything into consideration, I am going to pick Maria Sharapova to win this match. While Barty is a strong player and is playing at home, she lacks the experience of playing at this stage of an Australian Open. Maria Sharapova is a past champion at Melbourne Park and I see her winning this match and making the quarterfinals.