Patty Schnyder will play her first main draw slam match since 2011 under the lights on Louis Armstrong Stadium, facing former champion Maria Sharapova. Sharapova leads the head to head at 7-1, last beating the Swiss at Rome in 2008.
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Schnyder is just a few months from her 40th birthday but has been having a resurgence on the tour recently, finding herself inside the top 200 due to a number of good tournaments on the ITF circuit. She was a surprise qualifier, winning two three setters before easing past Jessica Pegula in the final round.
Since returning from her ban, Sharapova’s form has been average at best. She is still outside the top 20 and has just one slam quarter final in that time period. Her comeback has been littered with surprise losses – from Niculescu in Doha, Sevastova at last year’s US Open and this year’s Wimbledon loss to Vitalia Diatchenko in the opening round. She held a set and break lead in the last of them before falling in three sets.
Her difficulties against the better players on tour surfaced again as Caroline Garcia eased past her in Montreal. “I thought she played extremely well today, did the right things consistently: played deep, hard, served well. That’s something that I didn’t do well today.” she said after her 6-3 6-2 loss there. She won’t need to be at her best to see of her round opponent but major improvement is needed if she is to establish herself as a contender for the title.
Prediction – Maria Sharapova in straight sets
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