Maria Sharapova cruised into the third round of the Wimbledon Championships to pick up her 40th match win at the event and avoided a repeat of her second round upset loss last year in the process. The Russian sensation will now move on to another intriguing obstacle in American Alison Riske. The two met four years ago in Birmingham – a match that Sharapova won in three sets to give herself the 1-0 head-to-head lead.
Following her remarkably dominant first round win over Samantha Murray, No.5 seed Maria Sharapova got past Timea Bacsinszky by losing only two more games than her previous match to close out the contest 6-2, 6-1 in 60 minutes flat. Sharapova won 27 of 33 points on her first serve, as well as 16 winners compared to nine for Bacsinszky.
“The first couple of matches are really crucial in terms of working on so many things as a grass court player and trying to make that transition from clay as quickly as possible,” Sharapova said. “The grass is quite different from the practice courts. Once you get out there, you try to focus a little bit more on executing better and not letting your focus go. That has been important in the last couple of matches.”
Alison Riske picked up a relatively big win in the second round of the Championships, as she defeated Italian giant-slayer Camila Giorgi – hitting 6 aces, 16 winners and 10 unforced errors in the process. In their one previous encounter, Sharapova beat Riske in three sets in Birmingham in 2010.
“I feel like her game is suited extremely well for grass,” Sharapova said. “She stays down really low, hits really flat from both sides and has had steady results on the surface. It’s going to be a challenge. I look forward to playing her.”
Prediction: Maria Sharapova in Straight Sets