Shenzhen Open: Maria Sharapova Survives Riske’s Scare

Former world no. 1 Maria Sharapova came back from a set down to defeat American, Alison Riske at the Shenzhen Open on Tuesday and book a spot in the quarter-finals.

Riske, who had been hoping for her first win against the Russian, proved to be a hard nut to crack early in the match before the Russian finally overcame her 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in just under 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Speaking after the match, the five-time Grand Slam champion said, “I’m glad I got this kind of match. Although I would’ve wanted a quick and easy victory, these are the kind of matches that you need, especially with such a short preparation going into the Australian Open in terms of match play.”

In the other match, there was disappointment for French Open champion, Jelena Ostapenko as she suffered a 6-1 6-4 defeat to Kristyna Pliskova in the first round.

Ostapenko, who only days ago beat Serena Williams in the American’s comeback match, provided little resistance as she lost to the big-serving Kristyna Pliskova in just 80 minutes.

Kristyna, who’s identical twin sister of former world no. 1 Karolina Pliskova, raced out to a 5-0 lead to start the match.

Kristyna Pliskova in action against Jelena Ostapenko in the Round of 32 at the Shenzhen Open, today.

“My serve was great today, especially in the first set. I feel like it’s really fast here, so that can be tricky for both of us, and the first of us playing fast won the point.”

“I felt a bit nervous in the second set, but my serve was really working today, which was a big help,” Pliskova said after the match.

It was definitely not the start to the new season that Ostapenko wanted, with the Australian Open starting in 13 days’ time.

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