Maria​ Sharapova defeats Daria ​Gavrilova to reach Italian Open quarter-finals

Sharapova struggled at times on her own serve but her high winning percentage on second-serve points allowed her to clinch a relatively routine victory.

Published: 18th May 2018 10:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th May 2018 10:36 AM   |  A+A-

Russia's Maria Sharapova blows a kiss to spectators after winning her match against Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Photo | AP)

By IANS

ROME: Russian three-time champion Maria Sharapova rolled to a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Daria Gavrilova to book a spot in the quarter-finals of the Italian Open, a key French Open tune-up event.

Sharapova needed an hour and 38 minutes during the match on Thursday to overcome the feisty Australian, who had upset Spain's Garbiñe Muguruza 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (8-6) in a more than three-hour battle on Wednesday, Efe news reported.

The 40th-ranked Russian dominated with her return game, breaking her opponent on seven occasions and winning 19 of Gavrilova's 22 second-serve points.

Sharapova struggled at times on her own serve - getting broken four times, committing six double faults and winning just 56 per cent of her first-serve points - but her high winning percentage on second-serve points (53 per cent) allowed her to clinch a relatively routine victory.

Even though the victory was not as clean as possible, Sharapova saw the glass as half-full in her post-match interview.

"I just like the way that I'm competing." she was quoted as saying on the WTA's Web site. "I like the way that I feel out there. I think that's really important, you know... I just like the attitude with which I'm playing with."

Next up for Sharapova in Friday's quarter-finals will be Latvian reigning French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, who rallied for a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Briton Johanna Konta.

That match will be the first-ever meeting between two of tennis' most powerful baseline players.

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