Sharapova feeling strong

This content was published 13 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali d’Italia.

Maria Sharapova took only two games over the minimum to dispatch Ekaterina Makarova in the second round, playing her fellow Russian for the second time in less than a week. “Last week in Madrid was the first time that we played against each other. We split sets and I won the match in the third,” explained the 24-year-old who has won Grand Slams on every surface except clay. “It was pretty tough and I wanted to get the job done faster today. I kind of let her get back into the match in Madrid and it took us three sets, so I was very happy the way I started today. I had a much slower start in Madrid and that is something that I really wanted to change coming into this tournament. In Madrid the first two rounds I played three sets and I really felt that it was not necessary. I had a few more let-downs than I wanted in those matches and I just felt that it was really important today from the first point to really have the energy up and do the right things and not have any let downs as I did over there.”

“It was a pretty short match,” said Sharapova, who was done and dusted in less than an hour, “That will definitely help me going into other matches later on because on clay it is a lot better – the points themselves are longer and I was happy they went the way it did. My serve really worked well today and that is a very important thing, especially on clay. It is tough to get many service winners on a slower surface and so it is important to work on placement a little bit more and that is something that I have done. I hope that this continues and I’ve certainly worked on it and it can only get better.”

Thursday sees Sharapova face Shahar Peer on court 10 late in the afternoon, a player against whom she has never lost in four encounters, though all of their meetings have come on hard courts and the most recent was three years ago. The Israeli is a mere 10 days Sharapova’s junior and at no.14 is ranked just six places below her, despite having never won a Grand Slam or a WTA Premier tournament to date.

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