Maria Sharapova: The Opening Round Of The U.S.

Published: August 30, 2011

Maria Sharapova: The Opening Round Of The U.S., The British number three Heather Watson gave third seed Maria Sharapova made tremendous fear in the opening round of the U.S. Open before going down 3-6 7-5 6-3 at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The 19 years of Guernsey, making her first appearance in the main draw after winning the junior title two years ago, led by a set and a break early in the second set, but Sharapova is just too strong at the end.

One thing for the daughter of Guernsey was the swirling wind, which caused problems for Sharapova serve brittle, and Watson made a perfect start by breaking her well-fancied opponent. The third seed broke back, but far from impressed, playing on the biggest stages; Watson looked a picture of calm, of movement and power of the baseline superbly past Sharapova.

Another pause followed quickly, and from there the 19, who was really her opponent matching stroke for stroke despite being shorter than seven inches, held her nerve superbly to take the first set.

Sharapova saved two set points to force deuce with Watson serving at 5-3 but the worldwide 104 quick service product on the back of the line and took third when the game entered a head back. Things looked even better for Watson when she broke again early in the second set, but Sharapova has responded firmly.

The British player has begun to fall her shots a little too short, allowing Russia to build inside the court, and powered her way to four straight games.

The tide had turned a lot, but Watson dug deep to stop the rot before returning serve when Sharapova threw in a sixth double fault.

Things seemed sinister when the British player has slipped to 0-30 serve to stay in the game but again; she would not leave out Sharapova. However, there was nothing the 19 year old could do when her opponent piled on the pressure again two plays later.

Sharapova had reduced errors substantially and it has four straight games with a break early in the decision-maker.

Watson got on the board with a gutsy hold for 3-1, and there was a glimmer of hope when she beat 2006 champion back to 4-3, but Sharapova has responded immediately and ther time he there was no return.

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