Russian superstar Maria Sharapova’s path to the 2014 United States Open title is only getting more difficult with each passing day, as the fifth seed is scheduled to meet big-serving German Sabine Lisicki in the third round of the tournament. This will mark the seventh meeting between the two competitors, with Sharapova leading the head to head series with a comfortable 5-1 lead.
Once again, Maria Sharapova was forced to contest a hard fought battle to cement her victory, this time against world No. 95 Alexandra Dulgheru, whom she defeated 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. While she suffered from a slow start to the match, Sharapova eventually recovered to show her form with a 4-0 lead in the final set and even won 10 of the last 13 games of the match.
“She played really well. Although I started off really good in the first couple of games, didn’t take the opportunity to go up 3-0. After that she started getting a little bit of a rhythm. It was difficult. Obviously the conditions were tough. You start in the sun; you finish under the lights. It was a very long match. Overall I felt like in the end I was in much better shape than she was and I could have played another few sets. Mentally that helped me a lot.”
Germany’s Sabine Lisicki had a much easier match in her second round outing, as she defeated Madison Brengle 6-4, 6-1. Lisicki hit 11 aces, won 81% of her first service points and a total of 37 winners to close out the match in 64 minutes.
This marks the seventh time that these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Sharapova leading the series 5-1. Lisicki’s only win over Sharapova took place at the 2012 Wimbledon Championships, and has since lost two in a row.
Prediction: Maria Sharapova in Three Sets