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.
“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.