Beijing Open | Sharapova squeezes through
Maria Sharapova, ranked 104 and playing the China Open thanks to another wildcard, has reached the third round in Beijing after coming through a three setter against Ekaterina Makarova, the world number 33.
I was the more aggressive player in the end. I started reading her patterns and a little bit of everything I think helped me win Maria Sharapova
The Russian who is still attempting to put her 15-month drug ban behind her, was made to work for the first two sets but eventually but eventually took command to defeat her compatriot 6-4 4-6 6-1.
It was her second tight match having won her opening round against Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova, the 16th seed, 7-6(3) 5-7 7-6(7) saving a match point in the process.
The five-time Grand Slam champion could now face Simona Halep, the second seed who she beat in the first round of the US Open.
Commenting after her victory, Sharapova said: “I thought the level of tennis was quite high.
“We had a few breaks in the first [set]. I felt that despite losing that second set, I was motivated to start the third.
“I was the more aggressive player in the end. I started reading her patterns and a little bit of everything I think helped me win.”
The former world number one never looked comfortable on her serve delivering eight double faults in the first two sets. But playing on an outdoor court with the crowd rooting for her, she recovered following the loss of that second set, breaking her opponent twice to seal the win.