Sharapova, Bouchard to meet in Aussie QFs

Melbourne, Australia ( – Maria Sharapova cruised to a win
over Peng Shuai on Sunday to set up a marquee meeting with rising star Eugenie
Bouchard in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.

The second-seeded Sharapova, who is chasing her second career Australian Open
title at the age of 27, needed just 75 minutes to knock off the 21st-seeded
Peng 6-3, 6-0.

Bouchard, seeded No. 7, had a tougher time against Irina-Camelia Begu but
overcame a 61-minute second set to win 6-1, 5-7, 6-2.

The 20-year-old Canadian was runner-up at Wimbledon last year and has been the
focus of some attention this week after a male interviewer asked her to “give
us a twirl” following a second-round win.

The request drew wide criticism, including from tennis great Billie Jean King,
who called it sexist.

Sharapova is 3-0 all-time against Bouchard, with each of their meetings coming
in the past two seasons, including a three-set battle in the semifinals of the
French Open last year.

“I felt like I was close with her. I remember that,” Bouchard said, according
to the WTA. “I remember I had chances and stuff. I just remember a really
tough match. And I was pretty disappointed afterwards, so that’s definitely

Also Sunday, No. 10 seed Ekaterina Makarova defeated Julia Goerges 6-3, 6-2 to
set up a quarterfinal meeting with either No. 3 seed Simona Halep or Yanina
Wickmayer, who were playing later.