In a match that was thrilling throughout, under the floodlights of the Manolo Santana Stadium, Eugenie Bouchard sealed a memorable 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 win over Maria Sharapova after two hours and 51 minutes of intense battle. The Canadian, who sealed her ticket to the last sixteen of the Mutua Madrid Open, managed to see off the 2014 champion in one of Monday’s most electric ties in the Caja Mágica.
“It was a very tough match, not just in terms of fitness and tennis, but also mentally”, said the Canadian. “It was a battle from the start. I am happy to have been able to hold on throughout and to be stronger at the end”, said Bouchard after her first victory over Sharapova in five encounters. “Generally I was good mentally, she is playing well right now, and that makes me feel proud. It was one of my best matches in recent years”.
Carrying nearly three hours of hard work in her legs and with defeat on her mind, Sharapova took the result in Madrid with grace. “On this surface the word fight is part of the game”, said the Russian following her loss in one of this year’s most demanding clashes. “When I was ahead I wasn’t able to control the match. She has always played well against me, we played three sets at Roland Garros and I didn’t expect anything else”.
“I’m disappointed, I would be worried about myself if I were sitting here happily after losing a match” offered Sharapova. “It doesn’t matter who the opponent is, it doesn’t matter what round it is, if it is the first match or the final of a Grand Slam. That feeling is what makes it possible for me to keep winning matches and tournaments”.