Sharapova excited by prospect of meeting Lisicki in fourth round

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Top seed Maria Sharapova eased into the fourth round at Wimbledon with a comfortable win over Su-Wei Hsieh yesterday.

The French Open champion and world No 1 broke serve three times in the opening set and then recovered from a break behind in the first game of the second to take the match 6-1 6-4.

Sharapova’s reward for beating the 26-year-old Chinese Taipei player is a fourth-round meeting on Monday with Germany’s Sabine Lisicki – the player she beat at the semi-final stage last year.

Lisicki, the 15th seed this year, secured her passage into the last 16 with a 7-6 (7/5) 1-6 6-2 win over Sloane Stephens on Court Three.

Sharapova said of her win over Hsieh: “She was a tricky opponent.

“She changed the pace really well and her serve is really tricky. The conditions were tough, I had to face a lot out there and be patient.

“The wind was tricky but I knew I had to handle it.”

The 25-year-old is relishing the match-up with Lisicki in the next round.

“That’s a tough one,” Sharapova said. “She did extremely well last year. She is a very good player on grass and I look forward to it.”

Sharapova had earlier joined the debate on equal pay, hitting out at Gilles Simon over his claim that men deserve to be paid more.

Sharapova offered a cold rebuke, saying: “I’m sure there are a few more people that watch my matches than his.

“We women have fought so long to get equal prize money. It was a big challenge and nobody really supported us.

Germany’s Angelique Kerber defeated American Christina McHale 6-2 6-3 in their third-round match and will face Clijsters next, while Holland’s Arantxa Rus, who knocked out former No 1 Caroline Wozniacki in round one, was easily defeated 6-1 6-2 by China’s Shuai Peng.

Maria Kirilenko also made light work of her third-round match, beating Romania’s Sorana Cirstea 6-3 6-1. She will now face Peng in the fourth round.

Camila Giorgi beat 20th seed Nadia Petrova on Court Three.

The unseeded Italian won 6-3 7-6 (8/6) to line up a meeting with Radwanska in the fourth round.

Jana Cepelova came from a set down to move into the third round with a 6-7 (9/7) 7-6 (7/5) 6-3 win over Spain’s Anabel Medina Garrigues.

Wimbledon results: Page 5