Sharapova more disappointed to lose early than to detractor

Adjust Comment Print

"The match play that I have, getting myself in these situations, getting out of them, will ultimately help me for those big events whether I'm in there or not".

Bouchard, long seen as the Russian's heir in the sport's marketability stakes, had attacked Sharapova over her return from a drugs ban and suggested the former world number one should be kicked out of tennis for life.

Similarly, against Bouchard, she let game points during a 4-2 lead in the first set slip away. Sharapova has since returned to the WTA rankings, where she is now 258.

In a tense game near the end of the first set, Sharapova was frustrated after Bouchard won a point with a ball that changed directions from a net cord.

World No.2 Angelique Kerber continued her search for consistent, solid form, managing a battling win into the third round over Czech Katerina Siniakova 6-2 1-6 7-5.

"I'm just one of the two players out on the court", she said.

More news: Freeze Warning, Frost Advisories in WNY

Bouchard did admit that though Sharapova has impressed since her "so-called comeback" to the game. That's what's going to make me a better player.

Eugenie Bouchard and Maria Sharapova met in Round 2 of the Madrid Masters in what was dubbed as a grudge match. This time Sharapova took command, moved inside the court, and ran away with it 6-2.

"I definitely had some extra motivation going into today", Bouchard admitted at a press conference after her win. She claims a number of players on the tour told her privately they were rooting for her in the match. "I really felt the support".

Bouchard's win is all the more remarkable because she hadn't managed to win a match in three-and-a-half months before she entered Madrid.

Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam victor, was initially banned by the International Tennis Federation for two years after testing positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.

Maria Sharapova celebrates after winning a point during her second-round match against Eugenie Bouchard at the 2017 Mutua Madrid Open.

More news: Polls are open as voting in local elections takes place

The match was the most eagerly anticipated when the draw was made after Bouchard's comments in the Turkish media in April when she said Sharapova was a "cheater" and should not have been allowed to compete again following her positive test.

There's a famous photo in tennis circles from 15 years ago of an 8-year-old Bouchard posing with a much taller 15-year-old Sharapova at a tennis camp in Key Biscayne, Fla.

Against Mladenovic in Stuttgart, Sharapova had three break points to earn a shot at closing the match in straight sets. When the two women shook hands, Sharapova said, quietly, "Well played".

In another early match, Latvian Anastasia Sevastova shocked second seed Karolina Pliskova 6-3 6-3.

She soon tweeted her delight at defeating Sharapova, mirroring Danielle Bregoli, the "Cash Me Outside" girl who became an internet sensation after her appearance on Dr Phil in September 2016.

More news: Trump agrees to renegotiate NAFTA with Mexico, Canada