Paris, June 1:
An inspired Lucie Safarova pulled off the biggest upset of the French Open tennis tournament so far, taking out women’s No.2 seed and defending champion Maria Sharapova, in straight sets here on Monday.
Safarova gave Sharapova trouble from the very beginning, jumping out to a 3-1 lead and, after getting broken back, sneaking the set out in a tie-break. She won the match 7-6(3), 6-4.
The second set was a similar story, Safarova racing out to a 3-0 lead, Sharapova grinding back to 3-all. But with Sharapova serving 4-5, Safarova pounced, missing her first match point with a netted forehand but immediately bringing up her second match point.
The No.13-seeded Safarova ripped one last forehand winner to finish the match.
“I feel like I had small openings, and I just wasn’t able to play a good few points,” Sharapova said after the loss.
“I just wasn’t able to keep that level up today. She was able to do that for a longer period of time. She was the much more aggressive player, took the time away from me, created her angles – and I didn’t.”
“That was the difference today, in my opinion. My opponent was at a much higher level than I was, and more consistently than I was, and that results in a bad day at the office. It was just a tough day.”
Safarova is now into her third Grand Slam quarter-final, having been a quarter-finalist at the Australian Open in 2007 and a semi-finalist at Wimbledon in 2014.
Next up for Safarova here will be No.21-seeded Garbine Muguruza, who rallied from 0-2 down in the first set and 1-4 down in the second set to beat No.28 seed Flavia Pennetta, 6-3, 6-4. (IANS)