Following an impressive start to their respective campaigns in Beijing, world No. 4 Maria Sharapova and WTA Rising Star Elina Svitolina will cross paths for the first time on the WTA Tour. The contest will serve as one of the more anticipated encounters to take place on Tuesday afternoon.
Following her disappointingly short run in Wuhan, Maria Sharapova rebounded with a strong showing on Monday afternoon, when she defeated Kaia Kanepi 6-4, 6-1 in the opening round of the China Open. While both sets featured tight rallies and long games, Sharapova was ultimately able to take command of the match and work her way towards the finish line.
“I actually thought I served quite well today,” Sharapova mentioned. “I was very aggressive and I put a lot of pressure on her. “I’m usually somebody that goes for my serve. If I make more errors, I feel more confident knowing that I’m going for it rather than just making my opponent hit a ball. That’s always been my philosophy. Of course, I don’t want to see the number of double faults very high. But overall I thought in key moments I served well.”
Since all four semi-finalist in Wuhan received automatic byes into the second round of the China Open, Elina Svitolina, who lost to Petra Kvitova in the final four, will begin her week against Sharapova, whom she has never encountered previousy on the professional tour.
This will serve as an intriguing encounter between two talented, albeit entirely different, competitors. Sharapova will play the role of the veteran Grand Slam winner, while it will be down to Svitolina to serve up an upset win in China.
Prediction: Maria Sharapova in Three Sets