Sharma into Aust Open wildcard final four

Astra Sharma is in the Aussie Open wildcard playoff last four after beating Arina Rodionova (pic).Astra Sharma has her sights set on an n Open wildcard after putting five years of study behind her to focus on becoming a professional tennis player.
苏州桑拿

Sharma stormed into the final four in the women’s playoff on Friday at Melbourne Park, shocking top seed Arina Rodionova 6-1-6-1 in their rain-delayed match which was moved indoors.

It was a day of upsets with men’s outsider Luke Saville also rolling top seed Alex Bolt in their semi-final 6-2-6-4 6-1. He will face James Duckworth in Sunday’s final.

Sharma said she had a match when everything clicked.

“I didn’t expect that scoreline at all,” the 23-year-old said.

“I’ve played Arina before and it’s always a tight match but I played unreal tennis.”

The West n has been concentrating full time on her tennis career only for the past six months after completing a medical health degree at the prestigious Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.

During her time there, she helped her college team to win the national championship and won All-American status.

After wrapping up her studies in May, she’s rocketed up the rankings from world No.440 to 225, winning three ITF Challenger tournaments.

Sharma said while the road to the WTA tour had been long, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“It’s a really good pathway,” she told AAP.

“After high school, I did want to go pro but, knowing what I know now, I would have probably burnt out.

“I wasn’t ready physically or emotionally, but going to college cocoons you and gets you a lot of match play and development and, coming out, I feel a lot more prepared.”

In the semi-finals on Saturday, Sharma will take on Victorian Zoe Hives, who trounced Kaylah McPhee 6-2 6-0.

Kimberly Birrell and Ellen Perez will square off in the other semi-final after beating Jamie Fourlis and Abbie Myers respectively.

Duckworth advanced to Sunday’s decider, overcoming Queenslander Maverick Banes 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 6-1 6-3.

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