Sharapova cruises, Kerber crashes out - Taipei Times
Fri, Aug 10, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Sharapova cruises, Kerber crashes out

WEATHER DELAYS:Several women’s singles matches were rescheduled due to rain in Montreal, while men’s play was suspended for two-and-a-half hours in Toronto

AFP, MONTREAL and TORONTO

Russia’s Maria Sharapova returns to compatriot Daria Kasatkina in their Rogers Cup women’s singles second-round match in Montreal, Canada, on Wednesday.

Photo: AFP

Maria Sharapova on Wednesday fired 25 winners past hapless Russian compatriot Daria Kasatkina in a 6-0, 6-2 Rogers Cup victory in rainy Montreal, but Angelique Kerber’s first match since capturing the Wimbledon title ended in a sobering defeat.

Sharapova needed just 66 minutes to see off 12th-seeded Kasatkina in an impressive and timely display of big hitting, with the US Open getting under way in just less than three weeks.

“I came on court having a lot of respect for my opponent, because she’s up and coming, but has already established herself,” 31-year-old Sharapova said. “I knew I had a tough match ahead of me. I was focused from the beginning and I finished it that way.”

Kasatkina, 21, managed just three winners.

Play was suspended before the start of Wednesday’s night matches because of rain, resulting in four contests being added to yesterday’s schedule.

World No. 1 Simona Halep was yesterday scheduled to play Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the second match on Court Central, followed by second-seeded Caroline Wozniacki in her second-round match against Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.

Venus Williams also had her second match of the tournament rescheduled for yesterday. She beat world No. 124 Caroline Dolehide in the first round, but was to have a tougher test against veteran Sorana Cirstea of Romania.

Sharapova next faces French sixth seed Caroline Garcia for a place in the quarter-finals.

Sharapova, a five-time major winner, leads the head-to-head against Garcia 4-1, but the French player in April won their only meeting in the past three years on clay in Stuttgart, Germany.

World No. 4 Kerber, playing for the first time since defeating Serena Williams in last month’s Wimbledon final, slumped to a 6-4, 6-1 loss to Alize Cornet of France.

The German left-hander committed 32 unforced errors against 34th-ranked Cornet in her 85-minute second-round exit.

Cornet, 28, goes on to face Ashleigh Barty of Australia in the third round. It was her second successive victory against Kerber, having also triumphed on hard courts in Beijing last year.

“It was my first match after three weeks now,” Kerber said. “It’s not always so easy to change the surface. I think I need a little bit more time to get used to hard courts again.”

Barty, the Australian 15th seed, defeated Belgium’s Alison Van Uytvanck 7-6 (9/7), 6-2, while recently married Czech ninth seed Karolina Pliskova suffered a 6-2, 6-2 defeat at the hands of Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands.

Fifth seed and defending champion Elina Svitolina went through to the third round after Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu was forced to retire with an ankle injury.

Svitolina was leading 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 4-3 when Buzarnescu turned her ankle and was forced to leave the court in a wheelchair and in floods of tears.

“Very tough to see players getting injured that badly on court. I wish @MikiBuzarnescu a veryyyy speedy recovery! Stay strong,” Svitolina said on Twitter.

US Open champion and third seed Sloane Stephens also made the third round by seeing off home hope Francoise Abanda 6-0, 6-2.

In the doubles, Taiwan’s Chan Hao-ching and China’s Yang Zhaoxuan defeated Canada’s Francoise Abanda and Germany’s Tatjana Maria 6-4, 6-4 in the first round, while second-seeded Latisha Chan and Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova took just more than an hour to beat Japanese duo Miyu Kato and Makoto Ninomiya 6-1, 6-3 in the second round.

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