US Open wild card Maria Sharapova: my rivals' criticism was hard to ignore
30 August, 2017, 02:16
The Russian was handed a wild card into the event and, making her first return to the majors since a 15-month doping suspension, responded in front of a sell-out crowd with a 6-4 4-6 6-3 victory over her Romanian opponent.
The Russian put any fears that her lengthy suspension would reduce her toughness and edge firmly to rest in the third set, taking it 6-3. Even with that said, Sharapova has very little playing time under her belt and it's tough to go from not playing to beating one of the top in the world. "But we're here and I think everyone has a shot if they play their best". Now Sharapova, who has fallen to No. 147 in the world rankings, will face off against number two seededSimona Halep in the first round. It was Sharapova who finally came out on top of the high-quality affair, prevailing 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. Either way, Halep is 39-12 this season and should be considered a threat to win this whole tournament.
Sharapova hopes to continue her dominance in the US Open she looks to extend her first round streak of 11-0.
As for Venus, now 37 and a 20-year veteran of the tour, she said she's looking forward to becoming an aunt again, this time to Serena's first child.
Against Sharapova, she took a set and change to steady herself mentally but charged back in the middle of the second set. She has a lot of experience, and many tournaments won, so I think she's okay ... she beat me six times. Due to an injury, she pulled out of the Wimbledon qualifying due to an injury, while she failed to make the necessary number of rating points to take part in the French Open since she had not received a wild card.
Halep connected on 67 percent of her first serves, but not enough of them were effective enough to frustrate Sharapova.
IT was a performance as dazzling as the crystal-encrusted black dress she was wearing as Maria Sharapova warned her US Open rivals that behind the glamour, there's tons of grit.
Despite the controversy, Sharapova was delighted with her grand slam comeback. The French Open denied her a wildcard and she missed Wimbledon with a thigh injury, setting the stage for a US Open wildcard organizers defended by saying she was being treated like several past US Open champions.
"You try and think it's another day, another opportunity but it was so much more", saidSharapova, who fell to her knees in tears after securing a thrilling triumph, her seventh in seven meetings with Halep. She played really well.
"I'm sad, of course, losing this match", Halep admitted. "But now I love it".
"As much as I want to be in the zone, focus in on what I have to do, execution and all those things, I definitely felt the energy". She played well, served well, competed well.
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