Maria Sharapova had a sharp offense that quickly got her into the 2nd round of the Mutua Madrid Open Sunday. The former champion of the tournament had seven aces and 18 winners that beat down Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3, 6-1 on Arantxa Sanchez Court at La Caja Magica.
An early exit from her “home” tournament left the former world number one rattled the other day losing to French powerhouse Caroline Garcia who went the length against the Russian showing her strengths. While she found herself playing the Romanian for another time after beating her in Shenzhen, Sharapova’s performance this past year would weigh heavily on her head.
In her come back to the sport, the then 30-year-old lost out to Eugenie Bouchard in what became a trash-talking bout before the Canadian’s big win. With no further worries about this, the world number 53 would focus on advancing to the 2nd round in hopes to improve her clay court game before the French Open in three weeks.
She and the Romanian levelled with one another through four games playing strong on their service games. By the fifth, Sharapova had enough of the monotony and forcefully took the break from Buzarnescu. She added another two wins that put the 30-year-old on the edge of defeat. In an eager effort, she forced to deuce on serve in the eighth before capturing the win.
In a show of force, Buzarnescu pulled together a solid break that had Sharapova nervous. Knowing what she needed to do, the Russian built up some chances to close out the set but saw these go wasted since the Romanian fought to keep her end together. Buzarnescu reached three breaks but very close ball marks allowed the former number one to come out with the occur 47 minutes. While Sharapova had the end result she wanted, both players were performing well but the 2nd serve of Buzarnescu stood out since the difference maker.
— WTA (@WTA) May 6, 2018