Maria Sharapova rallied to defeat one touted youngster on Tuesday afternoon, and will now have to do the same thing against another bright young star in Eugenie Bouchard. Although the Russian superstar is optimistic about her chances against the Canadian, she is aware that the future generation is wildly “ambitious.”
The world No. 8 defeated Garbiñe Muguruza in three sets on Tuesday afternoon, rallying from 1-6 down to win nine out of the last 10 games in the match. It was a strong showing from the 2009 champion, and keeps her title ambitions alive in Paris.
“A lot of the games in the first set she was always up 30‑Love, 40‑Love, and then I’d win a point or two,” Sharapova said. “Then she’s the one with the confidence. You never are giving her a chance to think. In the second set, when you’re making her hit a second ball after her serve or when you’re being a bit more aggressive on the second serves, taking a bit more chances, all of a sudden she’s not hitting so freely.”
The crucial game came when Sharapova saved five break points at 1-2 and eventually cruised through the remainder of the match.
“I knew that the match wasn’t over,” Sharapova said, when asked about the quick first set. “I still had a fair bit of time to change things around. Little by little I started playing a bit better, started getting in the court a little bit more, playing a little bit more aggressive, serving better than I did in the first set, returning as well, giving myself more looks at break points.”
While there is a photo currently making the twitter rounds with a young Sharapova and an even younger Eugenie Bouchard, they will both turn into fierce competitors once they arrive on court for their semi-final clash.
“The younger generation is ambitious,” Sharapova said. “That’s why they are in these stages of the tournament.”