Russia’s Maria Sharapova withdrew from the WTA Rogers Cup on Wednesday just moments after winning a marathon second-round match over Marta Domachowska.
The third-seeded Sharapova needed two hours, 56 minutes to beat the unseeded Domachowska of Poland 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 and then pulled out of the tournament with an injured right shoulder.
“Coming into this tournament I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to compete,” Sharapova said.
“In the last few weeks I’ve been trying to find a solution to the aggravation I did to the shoulder back at Indian Wells in one of my matches. I haven’t found the solution yet,” she said. “I just spoke to a couple of doctors and they advised me to try to find the cause of the problem, what’s causing my bursitis, because they think there’s something else behind it rather than just that.”
Sharapova was scheduled to play a third-round match against Japan’s Ai Sugiyama, who advanced in a walkover. This was Sharapova’s first match since her disappointing performance at Wimbledon.
After splitting the first two sets, Sharapova stepped it up and dominated the third set against Domachowska. She won the first four games before her opponent got on the score board. They split the final four games of the match as Sharapova held serve in the eighth game to advance.
Sharapova was upset in the second round at Wimbledon by countrywoman Alla Kudryavtseva.
Sharapova is playing this hardcourt event for the first time since 2004, when she lost her opening match and fell to 1-2 at the Rogers Cup tournament.
Top seed Ana Ivanovic played her first match since a sub-par Wimbledon and was tested by unseeded Czech Petra Kvitova before advancing 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
Ivanovic connected on just 59 percent of her first serves and won 11 of 16 break chances.
The parade of talent also included second-seeded Jelena Jankovic, who overcame a partisan crowd in a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak in the second round.
Jankovic needed an hour to dispose of Wozniak, winning six of nine break-point opportunities.
Sixth-seeded Russian Anna Chakvetadze advanced 6-2, 7-5 over Jill Craybas. Ninth seed Patty Schnyder, No. 11 Victoria Azarenka and No. 12 Nadia Petrova also are through to the third round. Sugiyama is the first to make it to the quarter-finals.
Tenth seed Marion Bartoli of France advanced when her opponent, Alisa Kleybanova of Russia, withdrew with an injured back.
AFP, CINCINNATI, Ohio
Rafael Nadal steamrolled to another overwhelming victory this season, crushing Florent Serra 6-0, 6-1 on Wednesday in the second round of the ATP Cincinnati Masters tournament.
The lop-sided victory took just 46 minutes and was the second runaway win for the world No. 2 in less than three months. He also lost just one game in a dominating victory over German Denis Gremelmayr in the Barcelona semi-finals.
Nadal also lost only four games when he beat number 84 Serra, of France, at the Australian Open in January.
It was the 30th consecutive match victory for Nadal who also laid down another marker for top ranked Roger Federer, who Nadal nows trails in the rankings by a razor-thin 300 points.
But the Spaniard refuses to peer into the future: “I’m focused on Cincinnati, this is a very important tournament.”
“If the No. 1 comes it will be very difficult to achieve. I have to keep playing like I have for the last four months,” the Roland Garros and Wimbledon winner said.