Eugenie Bouchard rallied from a second set lull to dispatch former Mutua Madrid Open champion Maria Sharapova in three sets under the lights.
WTA Staff

MADRID, Spain - Eugenie Bouchard pulled off an improbable upset over 2014 Mutua Madrid Open champion Maria Sharapova, 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, to win just her second main draw match in Spain, advancing into the third round.

Bouchard came to Madrid 0-3 at the tour's biggest clay court event, having lost in the first round the last three years in a row.

“Each point was a battle from the first point,” Bouchard said in her post-match press conference. “It was really a fight. I'm just proud that I came out stronger in the end and held it together in the third set.”

Earning a first victory against Alizé Cornet in three sets, the Canadian recovered from a break in the opening set to take the early initiative from the Russian, who was playing her second event of the season.

“As soon as I stepped on the court, I really just wanted to make it about tennis. We both did that. We just battled our hearts out.

“At the end of the day, I think that's the most important. You know, hopefully people enjoyed it, because that's the point of this, right? At the end of the day we're entertainment. I definitely enjoyed it, although I'll be a little sore tomorrow.”

Sharapova came back from a set down in her first round against an on-fire Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, and appeared poised for a similar scoreline after storming through the second set, dropping just three points in the final four games.

Battling through multiple long games and 0-40 deficits, Bouchard earned the crucial break in the 10th game, clinching victory after two hours and 51 minutes on court.

“I definitely thought I should have taken care of the first set,” Sharapova said after the match. “I had a letdown, being up a break. I was happy with the way I changed things around in the second, stepped in, was a little bit more aggressive inside the baseline.

“Then the third, kind of felt like it was a similar pattern: set up opportunities, breakpoints, and just did not convert them today.”

In all, Sharapova remained the aggressor, striking 44 winners to 49 unforced errors, and even won more points (112 to 107), while Bouchard struck 20 winners to 27 unforced errors.

Up next for Bouchard is top seed and World No.1-to-be Angelique Kerber, who narrowly ousted Katerina Siniakova in three sets earlier in the day. The former Wimbledon runner-up won their most recent clay court encounter last year at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia.

“I want to maybe rest my brain a little bit, not think about it too much for tomorrow. I have the day off, which is good.

“I want to go for it. I'm the underdog, by far. It's nice to have this position these past couple years. So I want to at least take advantage of that, just go for it, play good tennis, build on this, and enjoy it, kind of just show what I can do.”