Oudin Rolls, Sharapova Too
Published February 17, 2010 12:00
MEMPHIS, TN, USA - Maria Sharapova and Melanie Oudin took a step closer to a much-anticipated championship showdown Wednesday, cruising through their respective second round matches with little complication.
Oudin, the second seed, was the first of the pair to advance, easing past Lilia Osterloh, 62 61. The feisty American had played her first round match the night before, but that didn't seem to affect her play as she cruised in 61 minutes.
"I didn't have much time to recover from my first match, but my recovery was good. I got to sleep in this morning and I felt good out there today," Oudin blogged. "I played a very solid match all the way through again. It's gonna be three matches in 24 hours after coming back from Paris now! It'll be tough but I'm getting used to playing a lot of matches. I feel in pretty good shape."
Top seed Sharapova followed Oudin into the quarterfinals in the night session, crushing another American player, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 61 61.
"I wanted to stay consistent but aggressive at the same time," Sharapova said. "Bethanie has taken me to three sets before. I knew I had to play great tennis to beat her. I did a good job of not letting her get into her zone."
Sharapova looks on track for a return to the Top 10 in the coming months - she has no points to defend until mid-May, thanks to a shoulder injury lay-off between August 2008 and May 2009 - but ranking isn't her main goal.
"When you're young, your goal is to be No.1. But once you've gotten there you know you've achieved it, so your goals change. You want to play your best and keep improving and working, and the more you do that the better you'll be."
Other second round winners were No.3 seed Kaia Kanepi, No.5 seed Petra Kvitova, No.8 seed Elena Baltacha and unseeded players Karolina Sprem, Anne Keothavong and Sofia Arvidsson. Arvidsson won this tournament four years ago; she is a qualifier into the draw this year.