Sharapova Shaky in Advancing at WTA Montreal

Posted on August 5, 2004

Teen queen Maria "Grunt-o-rama" Sharapova overcame some erratic play Wednesday at the WTA stop in Montreal to beat Kristina "You're a Fine Girl" Brandi of Puerto Rico 6-1, 6-4 in her opening match at the Rogers Cup.

The largest crowd of the week turned out to see the 17-year-old Sharapova, who did not disappoint.

"It was a little bit up and down," Sharapova said. "I never expect to play my best tennis in my first match, but I did everything I had to do to win."

Sharapova said her Wimbledon success has definitely put her on the map with even the casual tennis fan.

"I've got so many more supporters and so many more fans and a lot more people know me now," Sharapova said. "It's not so easy walking down the street any more. That's what happens when you win, and I love to win."

Sharapova will next face countrywoman Vera Zvonareva.

"She's very tough, very hungry," said Sharapova, who has split two previous meetings with Zvonareva.

No. 4-seeded Russian Elena Dementieva was the highest-seeded fatality Wednesday at Montreal, punished 6-1, 6-4 by Argen-teen 19-year-old Gisela "Sgt." Dulko, whose previous claim to fame was beating Martina Navratilova twice this year.

"I played well from the baseline and served pretty well," Dulko said. "That was the key to match...She's the best ranked player I've ever beat, so it's one of the best wins of my career."

Seeds advancing into the third round were (3)Anastasia Myskina (d. Parra Santonja), (9)Paola Suarez (d. Jankovic), (10)Vera "Warren" Zvonareva (d. (Q)Mattek), (11)Francesca Schiavone (d. Dechy), (13)Maggie Maleeva (d. Martina "Nurse, I Need a" Sucha in three), (14)Elena "Lena" Bovina (d. (Q)Osterloh), and (15)Chanda Rubin (d. (Q)Mashona "Little Sis" Washington).

Two other un-seeds bullied their way into the third round with seeded upsets in Russian Elena Likhovtseva (d. countrywoman (8)Petrova in three), and French teen Tatiana Golovin (d. (16)Fabiola "The Fabulous One" Zuluaga in three).

On court Thursday are (14)Elena "Lena" Bovina vs. (2)Mauresmo, (5)Capriati vs. Pierce, (3)Myskina vs. (15)Rubin, (6)Maria "Grunt-o-licious" Sharapova vs. (10)Vera "Warren" Zvonareva in an all-Russian, (7)Sugiyama vs. (12)Karolina "The Spreminator" Sprem, (13)Maleeva vs. (9)Suarez, (11)Schiavone vs. Likhovtseva, and a teen standoff in Golovin vs. Gisela "Sgt." Dulko.

Results Newsflash!
Due to the WTA Tour's inept scheduling, running the Tier IV Stockholm event during the same week as an "elite" Tier I Montreal event, Tennis-X is voluntarily aiding the WTA this week by not running results from Stockholm. We hope this will help to elevate the Montreal results in the eyes of casual fans and avoid confusion, while at the same time shielding fans from the heinous field in Stockholm. We apologize for having to do the WTA's job in raising the status of their Tier I events, and apologize to you diehard Tier IV fans. Future note: Tier I = good, Tier IV = public park event, don't put them in the same calendar slot.