Both top seeds of the 2015 Brisbane International, Maria Sharapova & Ana Ivanovic, were in the spotlight on Wednesday, on & off the court.
The day inside Queensland Tennis Centre kicked off with a surprising result, as Alla Kudryavtseva bested Karolina Pliskova, continuing her run that started back on Friday in qualifying.
Pliskova, coming from her win over Victoria Azarenka on Monday, was in control of the match until the Russian won no less than eight consecutive games to seal the match 4-6 6-3 6-3. Kudryavtseva is making the most of her second chance, taking advantage of the lucky loser role following her qualifying loss against Lesia Tsurenko.
Meanwhile, outside Pat Rafter Arena, Maria Sharapova enjoyed an encounter with the local wildlife, as the the tournament’s #1 seed got to spend some time with a koala named Sinnamon. After a brief period of shyness, the little koala quickly felt comfortable in the arms of the five-time slam champion. Looking absolutely gorgeous, the tennis superstar and the cute koala made a stunning pair, posing for the cameras of the waiting photographers. Above you can check out several of our photos from the occasion. One particular shot seemed to be Sharapova’s favorite, as she shared it on her Twitter stream. We provided probably the most-shared tennis photo of the day, as the WTA retweeted it as well!
It wasn’t all just fun & games, though, as several quarterfinalists still had to be determined. The round of the last eight was completed by Spain’s Carla Suarez-Navarro, as Mirjana Lucic-Baroni failed to bring home a sizeable lead in the third set. Another player that booked her spot in the quarterfinals is Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi, who got past Madison Brengle in straight sets.
The evening session was all about Ana Ivanovic, as the #2 seed was the last player to start her first match of the 2015 season. Playing Australian wildcard entry Jarmila Gajdosova, Ivanovic played almost as impressive as Sharapova yesterday, ending the match 6-4 6-1 after less than 90 minutes.
While all eyes in the crowd were on the popular Serbian while she cruised to her first win of 2015, one particular set of eyeballs was missing though, as Ivanovic’s boyfriend Bastian Schweinsteiger was nowhere to be found. The German football star had watched Ivanovic during her doubles match on Monday, but wasn’t around for her first singles appearance of the year. After the match, the media quizzed the former world #1 on the whereabouts of her beau, not very surprisingly Ivanovic wasn’t willing to reveal any details.
With all second-round matches complete, Thursday will be quarterfinal day at the 2015 Brisbane International. Angelique Kerber is scheduled to play Elina Svitolina while Maria Sharapova will face off with Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro.
Women’s Tennis Blog will of course have full coverage of all four quarterfinal matches tomorrow and we’ll follow the 2015 Brisbane International all the way until the first trophy presentation of the new season!