Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki was knocked out of the Australian Open as five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova provided a reminder of her ability with a three-set win.
Russia’s Sharapova, seeded 30th, hit 37 winners in a 6-4 4-6 6-3 victory to reach the fourth round.
Wozniacki, 28, led 4-1 in the first set, only to see Sharapova battle back.
The third seed broke in the final game of the second to level, but Sharapova edged a tight third in Melbourne.
The 2008 Australian Open champion, 31, took her second match point to win in two hours and 24 minutes and set up a fourth-round meeting with Australia’s Ashleigh Barty on Sunday.
“I haven’t played many matches in the last year, especially against top players and these are the ones I train for, so it’s really rewarding to win,” said Sharapova, who served a 15-month ban for failing a drugs test.
Danish world number three Wozniacki, defending the ranking points won in Melbourne last year, is set to slide down the standings as a result of the defeat.
She was competing at a Grand Slam as the defending champion for the first time, but says the experience did not put on added pressure