Sharapova battles into second round at Stanford
 
, Posted on 01-Aug-2017


Sharapova battles into second round at Stanford

Los Angeles : Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova made a battling return to US hardcourts on Monday with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-0 victory over American Jennifer Brady in Stanford, California.

"I feel like I just want to hug everyone and say thank you," Sharapova told fans in a post-match interview. "It's my first match in the States in a really long time, and it's the closest thing to home for me."

The former world number one from Russia hadn't played in the US since March of 2015, before serving a 15-month doping suspension for the use of meldonium.

She returned to competition in April, but her comeback has been disrupted by a hip injury that forced her to withdraw from Wimbledon qualifying.

Sharapova, whose ranking has fallen to 171 in the world, received a wild card into the premier level tournament in Stanford, where she was tested Monday by the 80th-ranked Brady.

Sharapova got off to a brisk start. Although she needed to save three break points in the sixth game to take a 5-1 lead in the opening set, she broke in the next game to seize the set before Brady won the second.

"I had a bit of a letdown but that's the way it is," Sharapova said. "You finish a set and think you've got it, but she came out firing, capable of hitting winners and big serves."

Early in the third Sharapova fought off two break points to consolidate her lead, and wrapped up the match after two hours and two minutes.

"I feel like I face a lot of things: not competing for a long time, an opponent who's able to play some great tennis ... I feel like I'm playing catch-up against everyone who's had a head start," Sharapova said. "All that matters is that I keep playing."

Sharapova, who has also accepted a wildcard into the WTA tournament in Cincinnati -- another key warmup for the US Open -- booked a second-round meeting with seventh-seeded Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko, a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Spain's Lara Arruabarrena.

Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza, who stunned Venus Williams in the final at the All England Club, is the top seed.

She will open with a second-round match against American Kayla Day, who defeated Japan's Misaki Doi 6-4, 6-2 on Monday.

AFP


Related News

The shot clock
Nov 23

The shot clock

Roger Federer thinks it is “stressful”, and Rafael Nadal says it is “not good for the future of the Tour”. But at January’s Australian Open, a shot clock will count down in between points to ensure players serve within 25 seconds. The Australian Open’s proposal has the unanimous...

Read More
Goffin ends Federer’s season
Nov 19

Goffin ends Federer’s season

London : David Goffin mounted a spirited fightback to stun six-time champion Roger Federer and reach the final of the season-ending ATP Finals in London. The Belgian seventh seed, 26, came from a set down to win 2-6 6-3 6-4, his first victory in seven attempts against the 19-time Grand Slam champion. “I...

Read More
Goffin to face Federer
Nov 18

Goffin to face Federer

London : Belgian seventh seed David Goffin completed the semi-final line-up at the ATP Finals with victory over Austrian fourth seed Dominic Thiem in London. Goffin won 6-4 6-1 to secure second place in the Pete Sampras Group and set up a semi-final against Roger Federer on Saturday. “It will be a tough...

Read More
Nadal ends season after defeat by Goffin
Nov 15

Nadal ends season after defeat by Goffin

London : World number one Rafael Nadal pulled out of the ATP Finals and brought an end to his season after defeat by Belgian seventh seed David Goffin in his opening round-robin match. Nadal said before the tournament his knee was “not perfect” but fought hard before losing 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (4-7)...

Read More
Jack Sock boosts ATP Finals hopes
Nov 15

Jack Sock boosts ATP Finals hopes

London : Jack Sock kept his dreams of a fairytale finish to his season alive yesterday, beating Wimbledon finalist Marin Cilic 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (7/4) at the ATP Finals. Cilic, who won the 2014 US Open, broke the American twice to win the first set but found himself adrift in the second as Sock levelled the...

Read More
Serena attends first public event
Nov 15

Serena attends first public event

New York : Serena Williams has made her first public appearance since the birth of her daughter Alexis Olympia in September, at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards at the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, New York City. Williams, who was honoured as a Glamour Woman of the Year in 2009, presented the Supernova Award to...

Read More
Federer feels Murray is  making good progress
Nov 14

Federer feels Murray is making good progress

London : Roger Federer says he was surprised how well Andy Murray played during their charity match last week as the Scot continues his recovery from a hip injury. Murray faces a race against time to find both fitness and form before the Australian Open in January, having not managed a competitive outing since...

Read More
‘Nervous’ Dimitrov edges past Thiem
Nov 14

‘Nervous’ Dimitrov edges past Thiem

London : Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov admitted he had felt “pretty nervous” after seeing off Austrian Dominic Thiem in three dramatic sets on his ATP Finals debut. Sixth seed Dimitrov beat fourth seed Thiem 6-3 5-7 7-5 in the opening round-robin match in the Pete Sampras Group. Dimitrov failed...

Read More
Federer opens with win over Jack Sock
Nov 13

Federer opens with win over Jack Sock

London : Six-time champion Roger Federer opened with a straight-set win over Jack Sock at the ATP Finals in London. The 36-year-old Swiss, making his 15th appearance at the season-ending event for the top eight players in the world, won 6-4 7-6 (7-4) at the O2 Arena. American Sock was making his tournament...

Read More
Federer, Nadal urge caution over rule changes
Nov 12

Federer, Nadal urge caution over rule changes

London : Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal said they welcome innovation in tennis but warned the game’s administrators on Friday not to tamper too much with the current format. A series of rule changes and innovations are being trialled at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, featuring the world’s top...

Read More