It was only a round-two encounter between world‘s 60th and 258th ranked women at Madrid, but one of the most anticipated match on the women’s circuit, lately.
An inspired Eugenie Bouchard, the most vocal critic of Maria Sharapova (2014 Madrid Open winner), defeated the Russian for the first time in their fifth meeting and backed her verbal volleys with on court superiority yesterday.
Bouchard will now face top seed Angelique Kerber in the pre-quarters at Madrid.
The Monday night match, as expected, turned out to be a thrilling encounter in which both the players displayed spectacular tennis but relentless Bouchard turned back the clock. After struggling on Tour for past few years Bouchard finally returned to form. The contest ended with a 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 score line in favour of the Canadian.
The 30-year-old Russian is working her way back to elite tennis after serving a 15 month doping ban. However, the easy hand-outs of wild cards have not gone too well with a section of active players on the Tour.
Bouchard, who once idolized Sharapova, had called Sharapova ‘a cheat’ and insisted that she should be banned for life from competitive tennis.
Bouchard had admitted earlier that she hoped to be pitted against Sharapova. Bouchard also claimed to have received ‘good luck’ messages from a lot of players privately.
The extra motivation was evident in the near three hours long battle. The screaming and jumping up and down, at the end of the match, seemed like a validation of how much this win meant for her, and her supporters.