Sharapova battles past heat wave and Knapp to move to third round

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Russian tennis ace Maria Sharapova has battled her way through a searing heat wave at Rod Laver Arena on Thursday to progress to the third round by defeating world No. 44 Karin Knapp 6-3 4-6 10-8. The 2008 champion had to fight both the heat and a courageous effort from Knapp, in a match that lasted almost three and a half hours.

According to the official Australian Open website, after winning the first set comfortably, Sharapova struggled in the second as Knapp fought back and claimed it 6-4, although she regained composure to lead early in the third with the extreme heat rule coming into effect at the end of the second set, allowing a ten minute break.

The match continued even as the extreme heat policy brought play to a halt on outside courts, and eventually Sharapova claimed the break and held for a gutsy win, the website added. ANI