Two-time BNP Paribas champion Maria Sharapova is through to the third round in Indian Wells, where she will meet Italy’s Camila Giorgi for the first time on the professional tour. Now that Sharapova has notched her first match in five weeks, she will be looking for another dominant performance against Giorgi.
World No. 5 Maria Sharapova cruised into the third round in Indian Wells following an impressive showing against the talented German, whom she defeated 6-1 6-4. While Sharapova’s performance was far from her best, as she hit seven double faults to no aces, the No.4-seeded Sharapova managed to comfortably hold serve in all her games, not allowing her opponent a single break point opportunity.
“The first matches are always tricky, especially having not played in a few weeks, indoor or outdoor,” Sharapova said. “She’s also a tricky opponent, and she’s capable of playing good tennis. She hasn’t been as consistent with her results as she probably would have liked to be recently, but she’s had her results and she’s beaten top players before, so it’s never easy facing her in your first match.”
Sharapova won the BNP Paribas Open titles on two occasions in her career – 2006 and 2013, making her the only competitor in the women’s field with multiple title in Indian Wells.
“I have played really well here, and I obviously hope to continue that,” she said. “You always start from scratch every year, but I always like to get here a little bit early and get used to the conditions. We are in a little bit of an altitude, not much, but the ball does fly somewhat in the first couple of days.
“Overall I feel like I did what I had to do, and I’ll step it up for the next ones.”
Giorgi rallied from a set deficit in her opening round contest to earn the victory over Andrea Petkovic. She followed that up with a straight sets win over Sorana Cirstea to set up a third round match-up against Sharapova.
While this is the first time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, the talent and experience gap between them is a significant one. The Russian should manage a straight sets victory in under 60 minutes.
Prediction: Maria Sharapova in Straight Sets