Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova

Madrid: Four-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova overcame a stiff test from American Christina McHale to book her place in the third round of the Madrid Open 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.Sharapova moved into round three with wins on Tuesday.

Sharapova won her first tournament of the season on her return to clay in Stuttgart two weeks ago and looked in fine form as she raced through the first set 6-1.However, McHale went onto take the second 6-4 and led 4-1 in the decider.

Sharapova responded well under pressure to reel off five straight games to set up a meeting with Spain’s Garbine Muguruza or 2011 US Open champion Sam Stosur in the last 16. The Russian, though, was still far from happy with her overall performance.

Sharapova looked on the ropes when McHale led 4-1 in the final set, but the Russian’s form returned in time as she rolled off five consecutive games. “After a really good start I didn’t keep that level. I didn’t keep doing what I was doing. I think I had a bit of a letdown,” she said.

“I didn’t create any chances for myself on her serves. I don’t think I had a break point at all in that second set and I didn’t have a breakpoint until I converted one in the third set.”I don’t feel like I was doing much off of my return and putting any pressure on her and letting her dictate from the first point. That was really getting me in trouble.” AFP

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