A battle of notable Russian competitors Maria Sharapova and Maria Kirilenko is scheduled to grace the opening round of the United States Open on Monday afternoon in Flushing Meadows. This will mark the eighth time these two competitors will meet in a nine-year period on the professional tour, with Sharapova leading the series with a dominant 5-2 record. Check out the Sharapova vs Kirilenko Head to Head.
Sharapova had her stay in Montreal cut short when she suffered a surprising loss to Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro. The Russian lost 2-6, 6-4, 2-6 and admit that she simply could not find her rhythm on court during the match. She would go on to make a much deeper run at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, where she defeated Madison Keys and Simona Halep before losing to Ana Ivanovic in a thrilling three-set battle in the semi-final round of the tournament.
Sharapova used her week off between Cincinnati and the US Open to spend time on the practice courts and prepare herself for the fortnight stay in New York.
“That week before is just working on a few things, getting out on the practice court, making sure that you do the right thing both physically and mentally. You have a few appearances usually in New York leading into the Open, so managing the time and being fresh for the beginning. That’s the most important thing.”
After a season that saw her win just one match in the span of three months, Maria Kirilenko arrived at the Wimbledon Championships, where she defeated Sloane Stephens before losing to Shuai Peng in the second round of the tournament. She is yet to play her first hard court tournament this summer.
This marks the eighth time that these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Sharapova leading the series 5-2. She has also won their last three consecutive meetings dating back to the 2012 Indian Wells tournament. Kirilenko’s last win over her Russian counterpart was at the 2010 Australian Open and it is highly unlikely she will manage to change that on Monday afternoon.
Prediction: Maria Sharapova in Straight Sets