Following their respective first round match-ups, former US Open champion Maria Sharapova and Alexandra Dulgheru will meet in the second round of the United States Open to determine who will advance to the next round of the event. This marks the third time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour and their first time in 2014. Sharapova leads the head-to-head series 2-0.
The fifth seed suffered from a slow start in her match-up against Maria Kirelenko, but recovered late in the opening set to reel off 10 consecutive games to snatch the victory 6-4, 6-0. The Russian sensation hit 5 aces, 15 winners and won 76% of her first service points to secure the win in exactly 90 minutes.
“I thought there was a few times where I could have broken her in the beginning of the match. But I think she started off playing well and solid. Despite not taking those opportunities in a couple of her service games, I felt pretty good, especially towards the end of the match.”
Sharapova was also asked about her remarkable 17-0 record in night matches at the US Open.
“I’m not really sure because this is usually the time where I’m sleeping already, so I don’t know. You’d actually think it was the opposite. I think in the beginning of my career, it was always a bit more challenging because I didn’t really know how to adjust to what I should do during the day, how do I prepare for that. But I’ve certainly learned a lot, just know what to expect. I know the waiting game a little bit better than I did when I was a junior or a young teenager. But now I really enjoy it. I think you feel the goosebumps when you go out on a night match on Arthur Ashe.”
Romanian No. 2 Alexandra Dulgheru took part in a straightforward match in her opener at the US Open, which she won 6-3, 6-4 against Kristyna Pliskova. She hit 1 ace and won 61% of her first service points.
This is the third time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Sharapova leading the series 2-0. They met once at the 2-13 Madrid Open and in the 2011 Miami Open.
Prediction: Maria Sharapova in Straight Sets