Sharapova, Muguruza reach fourth round at French Open

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PARIS — Former champion Maria Sharapova reached the fourth round of the French Open with a dominant 6-2, 6-1 win against Karolina Pliskova on Saturday.

The 31-year-old Russian, seeded 28th after missing this tournament the last two years, needed 59 minutes to win on Court Philippe Chatrier. She broke serve five times against the sixth-seeded Czech.

Sharapova, who has won two of her five majors at Roland Garros, will next face Serena Williams in what will be their 22nd career meeting.

Third-seeded Garbine Muguruza, the 2016 French Open champion, also impressed on the main court. She needed just over one hour to beat Samantha Stosur of Australia 6-0, 6-2.

Sloane Stephens also advanced to the fourth round, but the 10th-seeded American had a much more difficult time beating Italy’s Camila Giorgi 4-6, 6-1, 8-6. Stephens next faces Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, who won 7-6 (8), 7-6 (4) against No. 8-seeded Petra Kvitova.

There was another upset as unseeded Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko defeated 19th-seeded Slovak Magdalena Rybarikova 6-2, 6-4.

Top-seeded Simona Halep later faced Andrea Petkovic of Germany on the new Court 18.

In men’s third-round action, unseeded Russian Karen Khachanov completed a 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 win against 15th-seeded Lucas Pouille of France. Their match was suspended for rain late Friday.

Fabio Fognini beat Kyle Edmund 6-3, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, while Maximilian Marterer won 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 against Jurgen Zopp.

Rafael Nadal was up later on Chatrier, targeting a 16th consecutive win against Richard Gasquet. The top-ranked Spaniard is trying to win a record-extending 11th title at Roland Garros.

Novak Djokovic to start 2023 in Adelaide ahead of Australian Open

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MELBOURNE, Australia – Novak Djokovic will open his 2023 campaign in Adelaide as he prepares for a shot at a 10th Australian Open crown a year after having his visa revoked on the eve of his title defense.

The 21-time major winner has been granted a visa by the Australian government and has been listed to play at the Adelaide International, which starts Jan. 1.

Serbia isn’t contesting the inaugural United Cup team competition, leaving Djokovic free to play regular warmup tournaments head of the Jan. 16-29 Australian Open.

He’ll be joined in the men’s draw at Adelaide by Russians Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev, Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada and Andy Murray.

Ons Jabeur, Aryna Sabalenka will headline the women’s draw.

Immigration Minister Andrew Giles last month confirmed Djokovic had been granted a visa to compete in Australia in January. The 35-year-old Serbian had been facing a possible three-year ban after being deported last January over his stance against COVID-19 vaccination.

Djokovic has won the Australian Open a record nine times, including the last three times he played. Rafael Nadal won this year’s title in Djokovic’s absence.

Djokovic was not vaccinated against COVID-19 when he arrived in Melbourne ahead of the 2022 tournament, but Australia has since lifted strict rules for unvaccinated travelers.

Karolina Pliskova reuniting with Sascha Bajin

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Two-time Grand Slam finalist Karolina Pliskova is reuniting with coach Sascha Bajin ahead of the 2023 season.

Pliskova posted on her website and her Twitter account about the move, which comes about six months after she and Bajin stopped working together. The pair originally teamed up in November 2020.

While Bajin was her coach, Pliskova reached the final at Wimbledon in 2021 before losing to champion Ash Barty. Pliskova also was the runner-up at the 2016 U.S. Open, where she defeated Serena Williams in the semifinals before being beat by Angelique Kerber for the trophy.

After splitting from Bajin in July, Pliskova was coached by Leos Friedl. Their results together included a quarterfinal run at the U.S. Open.

Bajin has worked as a coach or hitting partner with several top tennis players, including Grand Slam title winners Williams, Naomi Osaka, Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki.

“Thank you for having me back,” Bajin wrote on Twitter. “Let’s go get it.”

Pliskova is a 30-year-old from the Czech Republic who reached No. 1 in the WTA rankings in 2017 and finished this season at No. 31 after going 21-21 with no titles.

Her team also includes fitness specialist Jez Green and physiotherapist Martin Salvador.

Next year’s first Grand Slam tournament, the Australian Open, begins Jan. 16.