Beijing, Oct 3 (IANS) Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova overcame a late revival by compatriot Ekaterina Makarova to prevail 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 in the China Open second round on Tuesday.
This was the second three-set victory in a row for Sharapova, as she earned a hard-fought win against Anastasija Sevastova 7-6, 5-7, 7-6 in the first round of the tournament, reports Efe.
“There are certain moments of the match where you have to think a little bit more, where it’s not coming as naturally as maybe it did in the past,” Sharapova, who was banned for 15 months for breaching anti-doping regulations, said.
“That takes time. But to be able to get through them physically and do the right thing when it matters is what I can ask from myself,” Sharapova added.
The former world No.1 came from a break down in the first set to win four straight games, before she saw her serve broken once again.
The five-time Grand Slam champion earned one more break to seal the first set, despite conceding serve once again.
Makarova started the second set with the right foot, as she took the lead 4-1 and went on to clinch the set in the third set point she got.
With no room for errors, Sharapova broke her rival’s serve early in the third set, and built on her lead to win over Makarova for an 8th time.
The 30-year-old Sharapova is set to face Romania’s Simona Halep, world No. 2, who advanced to the third round after the retirement of Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova who was trailing 6-1, 2-1.
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