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Home   News   Highlights and reactions: Bouchard vs. Sharapova

Highlights and reactions: Bouchard vs. Sharapova

May 09, 2017
written by: Kristina Borojevic
written by: Kristina Borojevic

We have an early contender for WTA Match of the Year!

In a thriller that ended just short of three hours, Genie Bouchard defeated Maria Sharapova 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 in the second round of the Mutua Madrid Open. It was Bouchard’s first victory over Sharapova, a former champion in the Spanish capital.

The win was monumental for the Canadian, who held a 0-3 record in Madrid before this year and was 0-4 against Sharapova. Genie defeated Alizé Cornet in the first round to set up the encounter with Sharapova.

RELATED: Bouchard halts Sharapova’s comeback in Madrid.

For the match, Bouchard hit three aces while Sharapova could not get a serve past Bouchard. Sharapova hit nine double faults to Bouchard’s four. There was an outstanding amount of break opportunities in this match: Bouchard created 21(!) chances on the Sharapova serve and broke her five times. Sharapova was equally as impressive, getting 15 chances on Bouchard’s serve and also breaking five times.

The ‘Match of the Year’ contender also had some hot shots that are definitely going to be considered for WTA Shot of the Month… maybe even Shot of the Year? (Seriously, HOW did she find the corner?)

Genie is known for her aggressive baseline game and taking the ball early on the rise, but that doesn’t mean the Canadian shies away from the net. Check out Genie’s quick feet and soft hands on this incredible reflex volley!

Sometimes Genie looked like she just could not be stopped!

Bouchard has not had the results she’s hoped for so far in 2017, going 5-9 on the season. Prior to defeating Cornet, Bouchard’s last tour win came against Shuai Peng in the second round of the Australian Open. Her winless streak was ended in Indian Harbour Beach, Florida, where Bouchard won two ITF-level matches and made her second quarter-final of the season.

The win against Cornet snapped a five-match tour-level losing streak and marked Bouchard’s first three set victory since defeating Lucie Safarova in Montreal at Coupe Rogers.

The reaction from her match point against Sharapova really says it all: it was a huge confidence boost for Genie.

18-time Grand Slam champion Chrissie Evert chimed in on the match and was impressed with Genie’s performance, suggesting it was 2014-like when she made deep runs at the Majors.

We’re just about half way through the season now, but it’s safe to Bouchard vs. Sharapova will go down as a contender for Match of the Year.

With Cornet and Sharapova out of the way, Genie will now face world no. 1 Angelique Kerber in the third round of the Madrid Open.

Bouchard leads the head-to-head record against Kerber 3-2 and is 2-0 on clay. Genie went on a three-match win streak against Kerber from 2014 to 2016: Roland Garros fourth round (2014), Wimbledon quarter-finals (2014) and the second round of the Italian Open in Rome (2016). Bouchard only dropped one set to Kerber in those matches.

 

Feature photo via WTA.