Maria Sharapova keeps cool in searing heat to dispatch foe as upsets continue in Melbourne
Maria Sharapova got past No. 14-seeded Anastasija Sevastova in straight sets to advance in Melbourne. AP

MELBOURNE, Australia — Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza struggled with the heat and Hsieh Su-wei's game before losing 7-6 (1), 6-4 on Day 4 as the upsets intensified at the Australian Open.

No. 3-ranked Muguruza follows Venus Williams and U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens out of the tournament in the first week, leaving only three major winners still in the women's draw — and two of them could meet in the third round.

Muguruza had five double-faults, including one to give No. 88-ranked Hsieh a match point, and made 43 unforced errors. She needed a medical time out in the first set, and accidently hit a ball into a line judge in frustration.

"She's definitely a very tricky opponent — today she played well," said Muguruza, acknowledging that the heat was bothersome but it wasn't the hottest conditions she'd experienced in Australia. "I could have done things better, but at the end, she deserves to win."

The 32-year-old Hsieh is a former top-ranked doubles player who only had one previous win over a top 10 player and whose career-high singles ranking peaked at 23 in 2013.

Considered one of the contenders for the title after Serena Williams opted against defending her Australian title, Muguruza had a troubled preparation. She retired with cramps in the second round at the Brisbane International and withdrew before her quarterfinal at Sydney because of a right thigh injury.

With a forecast high of 39 Celsius (102 Fahrenheit), Maria Sharapova appeared to be in a hurry to get off the Rod Laver Arena court ASAP, winning the first set in 23 minutes.

The five-time major winner advanced 6-1, 7-6 (4) over No. 14-seeded Anastasija Sevastova.

"It's a warm day. I did my job in two sets against someone that's been troubling in the past for me," said Sharapova, who missed last year's tournament while serving a 15-month doping ban. "I think I deserve to smile out there after that victory."

Ninth-seeded Johanna Konta, the 2016 Australian Open semifinalist, fended off three match points before losing to U.S. lucky loser Bernarda Pera 6-4, 7-5.

No. 123-ranked Pera is making her Grand Slam debut and, after losing in the last round of qualifying, didn't even know she had a spot in the main draw until Margarita Gasparyan withdrew with an injury.

"It feels amazing. I was ready to leave on Monday and then they told me I'm in, so I was obviously excited," Pera said. "I was checking the tickets to fly back. I'm happy I didn't buy one."

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Pera will next play No. 20 Barbora Strycova, who beat Lara Arruabarrena 6-3, 6-4.

Also advancing were No. 8 Caroline Garcia and No. 26 Agnieszka Radwanska, who next plays Hsieh.

Lauren Davis beat Andrea Petkovic 4-6, 6-0, 6-0 and has a potential third-round match against top-ranked Simon Halep, who was playing Eugenie Bouchard later Thursday.

Former No. 1-ranked Karolina Pliskova advanced to a third-round match against No. 29 Lucie Safarova.

Sam Querrey was the latest of the leading U.S. men eliminated when he lost his second-round match 6-4, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-2 to 80th-ranked Marton Fucsovics. No. 8 Jack Sock and No. 16 John Isner went out in the first round.

The 13th-seeded Querrey was one of 10 American players — men and women — to reach the second round from the 32 who started the main draws.

No. 5 Dominic Thiem rallied from two sets down to defeat 190th-ranked American qualifier Denis Kudla 6-7 (6), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3. No. 21 Albert Ramos beat another American, wild-card entry Tim Smyczek 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (2).

No. 19 Tomas Berdych beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in four sets.

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