Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Sharapova avoids seeds carnage

The bottom of the women's draw in the 2015 Aus Open is littered with seeds tossed from the tournament after day one - 7 of the sixteen are gone including two top ten players, one of whom (Ana Ivanovic) the player Maria Sharapova defeated in 3 sets in Brisbane only days ago.

There was no way that Maria as number two seed was going to follow the other seven out the door when she agreed to take on the task of playing Croatia's Petra Martic in the second night match on Rod Laver Arena.

Martic had a very good year in 2012, achieving some memorable victories over top players and reaching her career high ranking of 42.  Alas, she has now dropped back into the bottom part of the top 200 and really no one expected anything but a brutal meeting with the ruthless Russian tonight.

To her credit, Petra served it up to Sharapova in the first set, and although clearly lacking the talent and firepower she managed to lessen the gap by attempting to keep points short, often using the serve volley route to end points.  Maria played pretty much within herself and the winning shots flowed, too much so in the sixth game where the initial break occurred.

4-2 evolved into 5-2 with the next service hold and Martic did well to stay in the set by evading another break to linger behind 3-5.
Sharapova had the jitters when attempting to put the set away, and eyebrows were raised when Martic actually achieved a break of her own.
Dirty on herself for the misstep, Maria lifted and won the next game to lock away set one 6-4.

Still very much annoyed at her concentration lapse, Maria Sharapova proceeded to prove why she is where she is in the world of tennis by rattling off 5 consecutive games and trash the match as a contest, but in doing so leave us time to go and watch Thanasi Kokkinakis on the big screen win an epic five setter against 11th seed Gulbis.

Sharapova won 6-4 6-1 in a good first round performance.
Maria could well win the Aus Open - she just has to avoid a final against Serena.

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