Maria Sharapova picked up arguably her best win in years, outlasting fellow French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-7(6), 6-4, 7-5 in a 3 hour, 10 minute war.
Ostapenko blew out quicking to a 5-2 lead before the Russian rebounded and turned it into a match.
The Latvian, though, kept the pressure and built a 4-2 lead in the second, but Sharapova won the last four games. In the third, Sharapova got the first break and but two match points wouldn’t do it serving 5-3. But she got the job done at 6-5.
“It’s always nice to have a battle with a few ups and downs, and to finish strong,” Sharapova said. “To get through a match like this against a really high-quality opponent and to end up winning it, I’m quite proud of the effort.”
Added Ostapenko, “I was playing like a rollercoaster, a little bit… I felt like I could win the match in two sets, because I had many opportunities and many breaks. I wasn’t serving that well today, it didn’t help me. I felt like if the serve was going better, it could help me more. But I was fighting, and that’s a good sign.”
The 3-time champion will next face Simona Halep tomorrow. The World No. 1 cruised past Caroline Garcia 6-3, 6-2.
“In my opinion, it was a good match,” Halep said. “I just wanted to push [Garcia] back, and use good depth on the ball, and I think I did it pretty well. She made some mistakes, I got confident and I knew what I’d have to play against her, so I think I played a good level of tennis.”
Sharapova leads Halep 7-1 with wins in the 2014 French Open final and the first round of the 2017 US Open.
“I feel that the match is open, of course anyone can win, but I’m not thinking about the previous matches,” Halep said. “I want to think about tomorrow’s match, and we will see.”
A day after vanquishing Venus Williams, Anett Kontaveit knocked out a second former No. 1 in Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-1.
“I really enjoy winning,” Kontaveit said after her fifth Top 10 win of the year. “The last couple of weeks have been really good for me, and I have turned it around for myself a little bit, and I’ve been playing some good tennis. I’m getting some great victories, and I’m really, really happy with the way I’m playing right now.”
Kontaveit will now meet, first time, defending champion Elina Svitolina. The Ukraine edged Angelique Kerber 6-4, 6-4,
“I think I’m going to go into this the same as today: I’m not expecting anything,” said Kontaveit. “I just get to play another match before the French Open, which is a huge bonus for me. I have nothing to lose — I didn’t win this tournament last year, and I’m not defending any more points, so I’m just really going to enjoy it out there.
You Might Like:
Unseeded Sharapova Joins Halep, Ostapenko in Shenzhen Title Chase; Preview
Venus Out, Sharapova Moves On In Rome To Ostapenko QF Showdown; Halep Stays No. 1
Sharapova To Face Halep Wednesday In Beijing
Sharapova, Halep One Match from Blockbuster Rome Final
Halep, Teenager Ostapenko Advance to French Final, No. 1 on the Line