Published: Fri, September 01, 2017
Sport | By Fredrick Flores

Sharapova battles into third round at US Open

Sharapova battles into third round at US Open

The 30-year-old Russian rebounded in the second set by winning the first two games.

In the victory, Sharapova won 78 percent of her first serve points and 38 percent of her second serve points.

Bouchard stands by her earlier statements, but declined to re-iterate them after losing earlier Wednesday, 7-6 (2), 6-1, to Russia's Evgeniya Rodina, in the Ashe opener.

Sharapova didn't play the cleanest match in the second round, but she did win 51 percent of her return points and broke eight times.

"I felt like I was the fresher player, and going into a third set, that's a good feeling to have", she said.

"Finding that balance is hard". Or maybe she just doesn't want to see that. It wasn't my best tennis.

'I mean, look, it's been two tough, physical matches but I'm coming through and towards the end of today's match I felt really good'.

"It was a scrappy match but every time I step on the court here it's a special day", said the five-time major victor. Two three-set tussles into her stay at Flushing Meadows in NY, it's clear that Sharapova's game might be patchy, but she is as capable as ever of coming up with big strokes in big moments - and maybe, just maybe, could stick around for a while in a depleted draw that's already missing four of the top seven seeded women.

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But with the outcome in the balance, Sharapova once again looked as if she had never been away. The other big name in women's tennis to find victory on Wednesday was Elina Svitolina, the fourth seed.

Eighth-seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova saved three match points before securing a 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-2) victory over Czech Marketa Vondrousova.

Sky Bet's 7/2 favourite Garbine Muguruza did not begin her match against Duan Ying-ying until gone 10pm local time, such was the packed nature of the schedule follow Tuesday's rain. As Sharapova stepped onto Arthur Ashe Stadium she mirrored Princess Diana circa 1994, when the royal wore a black Christina Stambolian "revenge dress" to upstage Charles and Camilla's affair. "She can have a very cold side to her, but the Maria who comes out on that court and competes always seems to win over these crowds".

Duan's compatriots Zheng Saisai and 22nd-seeded Peng Shuai lost in the second round, though Zhang Shuai, the 27th seed, won her opener, seeing off Germany's Sabine Lisicki 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-0.

This is Sharapova's first Grand Slam event since last year's Australian Open, having served a 15-month doping suspension that was lifted in April.

Petra Kvitova has struggled in recent weeks but has hit form at a venue where she has faltered in the past and the 13th seed easily dispatched Alize Cornet 6-1 6-2.

Fifth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark and 11th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia were among the upset victims in evening matches.

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