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Bouchard halts Sharapova’s comeback in Madrid

May 08, 2017
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada

In a highly anticipated second round match-up between Genie Bouchard and Maria Sharapova in Madrid on Monday, the Canadian came out on top with a 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 win. The pair gave the fans quite a show, engaging in a tightly disputed match, which lasted just under three hours.

Bouchard reached the second round after posting a 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 win over Alize Cornet of France on Saturday.

RELATED: Bouchard back to winning ways in Madrid

Prior to Monday, Bouchard had never beaten Sharapova, having lost all four of their previous encounters, including twice on clay at the French Open in 2013 and 2014.

Bouchard experienced a difficult start to the match, facing a break point on her opening service game. The Canadian worked for a break point opportunity of her own, but was unable to convert. Sharapova utilized her strong forehand to push Bouchard from side to side before hitting an impressive cross-court winner.

After both players held on their respective service games, Sharapova was the first to break through and convert on a break point.

Credit: Madrid Open.

A double fault by the Russian, her third of the match, gave the Canadian an opportunity to bring the match back to even. Bouchard defended well against he opponent’s booming forehand, finally able to break Sharapova for the first time in the match.

The players went on to exchange breaks, until Bouchard was finally able to hold serve, taking the first set 7-5 in an hour and thirteen minutes.

The first set was characterized by double faults. Sharapova led the way with six, while Bouchard only had two.

The former world no. 1’s experienced showed in the second set, where she took the first break and remained strong on her serve. Sharapova was determined to bring the match to a decisive third set, converting on another break to take the second set 6-2, in only 35 minutes.

Madrid is a familiar tournament for Sharapova, who captured the singles title in 2014, while also reaching the semi-final in 2015 and the final in 2013. Proficient on clay, Sharapova demonstrated why she is so dangerous on a surface that tends to present difficulties to a number of other players.

The third set featured long rallies, with neither opponent willing to back down. Bouchard went up an important break to serve for the match. On her second match point, the Canadian was able to convert and take the match, winning the final set 6-4.

Credit: Madrid Open.

Earlier in the day, Gabriela Dabrowski won her first round doubles match in Madrid, 5-7, 6-3, 10-6. She is on to the second round with partner Yifan Xu.

On Tuesday, Daniel Nestor will play his first round doubles match, while fellow Canadian Milos Raonic will only begin play on Wednesday.


Feature photo: Madrid Open.