Sports

US Open 2017: Sharapova Defeats Timea Babos To Reach Third Round

US Open 2017: Sharapova Defeats Timea Babos To Reach Third Round

This was undoubtedly a crushing loss for Halep, though it is not impossible she could yet end the tournament as the world No. 1. The draw at Flushing Meadows randomly paired the two players, providing a buzz-generating matchup that managed to live up to the hype on Day 1 at the year's last Grand Slam tournament. "Certainly when I play against them, in terms of the level they play".

"I definitely have to value the feeling that I have now".

Blackman says that "you don't break Roger Federer 5-3 in the fifth unless you really believe that you can win that match, and that's something you can't teach".

It was a disgusting draw for Wozniacki against the in-form Russian, who looked like she might have blown her chance when she failed to serve out the match in the second set. The other big name in women's tennis to find victory on Wednesday was Elina Svitolina, the fourth seed. "It's a match, as we said, that you usually see towards the later stages of a tournament or a Grand Slam". The difference in the match was the victor count: Stephens had 43, almost double Cibulkova's 22.

The 30-year-old was expected to be tested by Halep in the first round. Venus Williams said she was too focused on her own tennis to consider Sharapova's return, and Svetlana Kuznetsova said it was time to move on.

Any momentum Sharapova generated from that victory faded quickly as she dropped two of her first three service games and trailed 3-5 early on in the first set.

But as the match went on, Sharapova looked more and more like someone who used to be ranked No. 1 and owns five major titles - including the 2006 US Open - than someone who needed a wild-card invitation from the United States Tennis Association because she is now ranked 146th on account of her ban and lack of play.

Snubbed by the French Open and then injured for Wimbledon, where she would have had to fight her way through qualifying, Sharapova was controversially given a wild card in NY.

"You never know what you're going to feel until you win that match point", she said.

At this point her draw is getting easier with each round.

"With the way I played Monday night, I don't think there are any more questions", she said.

After a disappointing end to the opening set, Sharapova wasted no time in stamping her authority on the second, jumping out to an early 2-0 lead of her own in rather impressive fashion. Sharapova lifted both feet to fire off forehand winners, negotiated her way past awkward net cords and proved fitter in the final set as she served 12 aces.

On Wednesday, I asked Sharapova how many times she has been drug-tested this year.

She already has spent almost five hours on court, and so perhaps the yelling and fist-pumping she showed at the end against Babos were as much a reflection of a sense of relief as celebration.

Sharapova next faces 18-year-old American Sofia Kenin, a wild-card entrant who got past American Sachia Vickery 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (0). That she can play an intense three setter and then recover psychically to play another three-setter must be immensely gratifying.

Australia's Nick Kyrgios suffered a first round defeat to world number 235 and compatriot John Millman 6-3, 1-6, 6-4, 6-1.


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