Williams, Sharapova to meet in French Open fourth round

By Daily Sports on June 3, 2018

Views: 321

Former champions Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova will meet in the French Open fourth round after they both produced commanding performances at Roland Garros on Saturday.

Williams overwhelmed Germany's world No. 11 Julia Goerges 6-3, 6-4 in 75 minutes to continue her progress at her first major tournament since becoming a mother last year.

Sharapova dismissed world No. 6 Karolina Pliskova 6-2, 6-1 in a dominant display to enter the last 16 on the famous red clay for the first time in three years.

Williams persisted with an aggressive approach against Goerges as two punishing passes gave her a 4-1 lead.

An overhead smash capped the first set to the 36-year-old American, but she maintains there are still improvements to be made.

"I just feel like if I'm going to compete in any match, I need to kind of start a little bit better," Williams said. "That was something that I was doing before I had the baby."

Goerges put up a fight in the second set and the pressure got to Williams as the three-time Roland Garros champion double-faulted and fired long to concede a break.

However, she was soon back in control with a brutal backhand as her trusted weapon to resume her triumphant return in Paris after a two-year absence.

The two-time winner Shararapova raced through her match in 59 minutes with a solid serve and a bullish backhand as she completely out-classed Pliskova.

"I knew it was my match to win," the 31-year-old said. "I played smart, I did the right things and that got me through to the next round."

The two former world No. 1s, who have claimed 28 grand slam titles between them, have not met since the 2016 Australian Open, and Sharapova says she will embrace the challenge.

"I always look forward to coming out on the court and competing against the best player," the five-time grand slam winner said.

"I think any time you play against Serena you know what you're up against. You know the challenge that is upon you."

But Williams thinks the Russian, who beat her in the 2004 Wimbledon final, has a competitive edge.

"She's probably a favorite in this match," said Williams.

"I'm just really trying to get my bearings and trying to feel out where I am and see where I can go. But I think this will be another test."

Petra Kvitova shared the fate of fellow Czech Pliskova as the former world No. 1 was stunned 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-4) by Estonia's Anett Kontaveit.

"Sometimes you have a good day and sometimes you have a bad day, but I tried as hard as I could," said Kvitova.

Kontaveit will play U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens today after the 25-year-old battled past Italy's Camila Giorgi 4-6, 6-1, 8-6.

All eyes were then on Rafael Nadal, who outclassed Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 and will go on to face Maximilian Marterer in round four after the German beat Estonian Jurgen Zopp 6-2, 6-1, 6-4.

Fifth seed Juan Martin Del Potro advanced with a 7-5, 6-4, 6-1 win over Albert Ramos Vinolas and Belgium's David Goffin eliminated Frenchman Gael Monfils 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.

Third seed Marin Cilic booked his place in the last 16 with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 triumph over American Steve Johnson.

In other women's matches, world No. 1 Simona Halep advanced 7-5, 6-0 over Andrea Petkovic and Germany's Angelique Kerber went through 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-4) over Kiki Bertens.

Kerber will play Caroline Garcia next after the French seventh seed cruised to a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Romania's Irina-Camelia Begu.

Third-seeded ex-champion Garbine Murguruza brushed aside Australia's Sam Stosur 6-0, 6-2 in 62 minutes. (Unionleader.com)

•Photo: Maria Sharapova celebrates after winning her third-round match at the French open against Karolina Pliskova on Saturday 

Source Daily Sports

Posted June 3, 2018

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