Sharapova shines in return…
Maria Sharapova completed a successful comeback to the US Open with a stunning 3-set victory over World No.2 player Simona Halep 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. It wasn’t just the Swarovski crystal encrusted dress, that sparkled, it was here games as well. Sharapova, who offered up 60 winners (7 aces) and had Halep on the ropes a few times before eventually putting her away after 2 hours and 44 minutes. “You sometimes wonder why you put in all the hard work,” she said after the match. “This is why.”
After claiming the first frame, 6-4, Sharapova raced out to a 4-1 lead in the second and seemed to have the encounter well in hand. Yet Halep, always a dogged competitor, found her footing as Sharapova lost her range, with the Romanian storming back to capture five consecutive games and, with them, the second set.
Momentum flipped once more in the third, with Sharapova thwarting Halep’s surge to again race out to a 4-1 lead. Only this time, she would not relent, falling to her knees when Halep’s final forehand flew long and struggling to contain her emotions in her chair afterward and again during her post-match interview.
It has been 19 months since Sharapova has played in a Grand Slam, and she is unseeded here with a wild card entry, but all of that did not matter on Arthur Ashe Stadium court where the former World No.1 is now 18-0 in night matches on this court.
Venus cruises into Round 2
“I had no idea what she looked like, who she was, anything. But she played amazing. She played well, served well, competed well. Definitely, a match I had to earn.” That’s what former US Open Champion Venus Williams said when asked about her first round opponent 19-year-old Viktoria Kuzmova, who stretched the former World No.1 to three sets
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