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Sharapova Completes The Mission

In a match played over two days Maria Sharapova hung tough against Eugenie Bouchard, defeating the Canadian teenager in straight sets to move into the third round of the French Open.

Published May 31, 2013 12:01

Sharapova Completes The Mission
Maria Sharapova

PARIS, France - In a match played over two days Maria Sharapova hung tough against Eugenie Bouchard, defeating the Canadian teenager in straight sets to move through to the third round.

The two first took the court Thursday, with Sharapova looking very strong in building a 62 42 lead. She even had a point for 62 52 but couldn't convert - and with the rain starting to fall hard, and after Bouchard reached advantage, the match was called for the night, cliffhangered until Friday.

There wasn't much drama the next day as the No.2-seeded Sharapova closed Bouchard out, 62 64.

"It was a pretty long day yesterday," Sharapova said. "But we all knew what to expect. We all kind of knew the weather wasn't going to be really good yesterday. We had a lot of warm-ups - obviously it's very important to keep yourself going and to start really well when you get back on the court, because the momentum can sometimes change in different directions, which hopefully it doesn't of course.

"At 8:45 last night, when it was still raining, it was pretty tough to continue. But I was happy to play part of the match and get myself in a good position to come out again today and finish it off."

There were some tight moments at the end, but Sharapova closed it out anyway. "It's tennis - you can't win every single point. It's just a matter of how many more games you win than your opponent."

Sharapova is now 31-2 on clay since the start of the 2012 clay court season, the only two losses coming against Serena Williams at Madrid - in the quarterfinals last year and the final this year. Between those two losses she won 21 straight clay court matches, the longest streak among active players - Williams could break that here though, as she won her 19th clay court match on Friday.

Other players who had to wait until Friday to close out their second round matches were No.13 seed Marion Bartoli, who rallied from 5-2 down in the first set and 5-3 down in the second set to beat Colombian qualifier Mariana Duque-Mariño, 76(5) 75; No.12 seed Maria Kirilenko, who beat Australian wildcard Ashleigh Barty, 63 61; Francesca Schiavone, who upset No.21 seed Kirsten Flipkens, 61 46 63; and Stefanie Voegele, who rallied from 4-1 down in the third to beat Kaia Kanepi, 76(6) 36 86.

Barty reflected about her result against Kirilenko afterwards. "You live and learn," she said. "I was out there and simply outplayed - I felt like I was playing pretty well, but just missing a few too many balls. Against a player ranked No.12 in the world, you're just going to get smashed when that happens.

"Basically Maria started really well and was able to kind of just run away with it a little bit."

The Australian teenager will still take home a very nice memory from the French capital.

"Obviously I had my first Slam win, so that's really a positive," she said. "And I'm still in the mixed doubles here. I'm looking forward to that, and then we'll then we'll move onto the grass."

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