This content was published 9 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali d’Italia.
It may not have been necessarily the way she wanted to finish the match but Maria Sharapova is safely through to the third round in Rome after Jarmila Gajdosova retired with an injured shoulder.
The Russian was firmly in control when her 52nd ranked opponent withdrew with the score 62 31 with the Centre Court crowd somewhat disappointed to see an exhibition of tennis ended prematurely.
Sharapova could play American 15th seed Madison Keys in the third round and says she is in good shape on the back of a semi-final appearance in Madrid.
“Madrid was really the start of my clay court season – my preparations started a little bit later this year than in previous ones,” she said. “I have to take my time and get into a groove, it’s been a while since I’ve played that many matches within a span of six days.
“It was good to feel the physicality of it again – I think the last time was during the Australian Open. I came up short against Svetlana but it was good to have those matches because this will be the last preparation before the French Open
“I think mentally and physically I have improved my approach. I can withstand longer rallies – the recovery is much easier for me now – but obviously it took years. I appreciate all the hard work that’s gone in and now I can enjoy the battles a bit more, knowing I don’t have to save myself.”