Maria Sharapova looks to make it past the fourth round at the US Open for the first time since 2012 on Monday night. She takes on Carla Suarez Navarro to kick off the night session on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Turning 30 today, Suarez Navarro will be hoping to avoid a repeat of her 25th birthday where she was crushed 6-0 6-0 in the quarter finals by Serena Williams in 2013.
Suarez Navarro has had to win three consecutive three setters to get to this stage, the most impressive win of them coming in the last round when she beat 6th seed Caroline Garcia. It was a tight affair between the two, decided by a final set tiebreak after both players had failed to break during the decider. The tiebreak followed much the same pattern with just one point lost on serve – by Garcia at 2-2.
Sharapova continued her extraordinary run of wins in US Open night sessions by seeing off Jelena Ostapenko in fairly routine style. The Latvian’s serve was always vulnerable and was picked apart by Sharapova as she earned a total of 18 break points in the 6-3 6-2 win. There were 7 breaks over all, including three straight to close out the match as Sharapova reeled off 5 games in a row in total.”[I] thought I just did enough to get another ball back, moved really well. In the points that I lost, maybe I just didn’t take enough steps. Didn’t feel that she was hurting me as much. Felt like I had a little bit more time today. Just was a little bit more alert on my feet.” she said of her performance afterwards.
Sharapova will look to extend her record at night to 23-0 with a win over Suarez Navarro. ” I think I thrive on that. I love the atmosphere. I love that they know how to cheer hard.” she said. She is 4-1 against the Spaniard although they have not met since 2015 when Sharapova won the Rome final. The 2006 champ has been under the radar but booking her place in the last 8 would definitely put people on alert ahead of a potential clash with 2017 finalist Madison Keys.
Prediction – Maria Sharapova in straight sets