In an eagerly awaited encounter, Eugenie Bouchard managed to register her first win against Maria Sharapova by 7-5 2-6 6-4 in the Madrid Open on Monday. The extra thrill in the contest was there because of Bouchard calling Sharapova a cheater following her doping ban.
Monday’s enthralling contest, which lasted nearly three hours, certainly lived up to the hype.
Bouchard, ranked 60th in the world, entered Madrid after five tour-level opening round losses in a row and her three-set first round win over Alize Cornet was her first since the Australian Open in January.
But her extra determination to beat Sharapova was on display as she managed to win a gruelling 70-minute first set against the 30-year-old Russian by clinching the 12th game.
Sharapova, who reached the Stuttgart Grand Prix semi-finals last month in her first tournament since being banned, was given a pep-talk by coach Sven Groeneveld at 2-1 down in the second and roared back to win four straight games to wrap up the set.
But the Russian played too many risky shots in the decider and, after saving three break points in two consecutive service games, she was broken in the seventh game.
Sharapova broke back immediately but then dropped another service game to allow Bouchard to serve out for the match.
Both players endured a brief, awkward handshake after Bouchard claimed a place in the third round against top seed Angelique Kerber, who she beat on her way to the Wimbledon final in 2014.
For more details about the points table etc, please visit the website: www.madrid-open.com