Sharapova's tactics questioned in grand slam return

Aug 30, 2017, 01:48
Sharapova's tactics questioned in grand slam return

She broke Halep three times in the first set, eventually winning it on the Romanian's serve with a powerful forehand return.

The 146th-ranked Russian wildcard improved to 7-0 lifetime against Halep with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 triumph Monday on the NY hardcourts, marking Halep's 30th Grand Slam appearance without a title. On a Monday night with the vibe of a later-round affair, the five-time major champion showed off her big match pedigree and resoundingly silenced any of her doubters. Furthermore, Sharapova aims to keep her record blameless over Halep which now stands at 6-0.

"I'm sad, of course, losing this match", Halep said.

"You sometimes wonder why you put in all the work", Sharapova said on court after her victory, "and this is exactly why".

"Behind all these crystals and little black dresses this girl has a lot of grit and she is not going anywhere", she continued.

Sharapova now moves on to play Hungary's Timea Babos in the second round.

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US Open 2017 live stream Maria Sharapova vs Simona Halep is available on WatchESPn.

This is Sharapova's first appearance at the U.S. Open since 2014.

"I think this is the most depth we have ever had, we are also seeing a changing of the guard because I have been through five six, seven generations and right now it's so exciting".

Muguruza, last year's French Open champion, can reach the US Open third round for the first time Wednesday by defeating China's Duan Ying-Ying.

After Sharapova won the first set 6-4, Halep responded by taking the second set by the same margin.

In defence of Halep, she hadn't really begun her rise to the top of the sport in 2015, having only been in one previous grand slam final at the 2014 French Open - but the victor of that final? "When I first came to NY I was intimidated by the noise, the traffic, the people". Sharapova took a bathroom break before the third set started, leaving Halep stranded on court practising her serves.

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"In the paper, people might think that", she said.

It had been three years since Sharapova last appeared at Flushing Meadows and by the end of Monday's three-hour thriller, both the sellout crowd and the five-time grand slam victor were aware of just how much they had missed each other. "I will try again and hopefully it will happen".

The defending women's champion, Germany's Angelique Kerber, doesn't play until Tuesday, when she is to face Naomi Osaka of Japan.

But it was like she had never been away as she took her night-time record on the Arthur Ashe Stadium to 18 wins in 18 matches. She was better. She was serving better.

Serena Williams, who won this year's Australian Open, is not playing since she is pregnant, but her sister, Venus Williams, is seeded ninth and is the highest seeded American.

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