Maria Sharapova Tames Feisty Vitalia Diatchenko to Reach Third Round!

Tennis - The defending champion was tested by her younger opponent who, despite all of Sharapova´s momentum, still managed to hold her own in the match,

by Sharada Iyer
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Maria Sharapova Tames Feisty Vitalia Diatchenko to Reach Third Round!

Maria Sharapova defeated fellow Russian Vitalia Diatchenko in straight sets 6-3, 6-1 in 80 minutes and took her place in the third round. The defending champion opened confidently against her compatriot and got herself an early break.

However, Diatchenko broke back immediately which kept the match levelled only for Sharapova to break back again in the fifth game to lead 3-2 in the set. The next couple of games remained on serve but in the ninth game, Sharapova got a third break to win her the set in 46 minutes.

Sharapova played near flawlessly, with merely three unforced errors to 12 winners. Her serving however was patchy at times as he put in three double faults. Her opponent on the other hand was done in by her high unforced error count – 16 to winners’ tally of 11.

Diatchenko’s serving also caused her problems as she put in four double faults and was able to win only 38% points on her second serve. In the second set, the world no. 2 found herself facing a couple of break points but was able to stave them off, aided by some good clean hitting of her own and some erroneous shot-making by her opponent across the net.

In the next game, Sharapova’s shot-making bore results as she broke the 24-year old’s comfortably, to 15, serve to lead 2-0 in the set. While trying to consolidate the break though, Diatchenko pushed Sharapova to deuce from a vantage point of 30-0, but wasn’t able to penetrate into her game any further, which gave the second seed a hold on her serve to go up 3-0 in the set.

Diatchenko’s errors paved the way for Sharapova to get a double break in the set which, she followed it up with an easy consolidation of her own. Diatchenko held her serve in the sixth game to keep herself in the match, but it was merely prolonging the inevitable as Sharapova wrapped up the proceedings in her service game to move ahead in the tournament.

Sharapova had four aces to Diatchenko's two and had five double faults to her opponent's four. Both players put 60% of her first serves in, but Sharapova had the better margin of points won off them, 69% to her opponent's 57%.

Sharapova also won 63% points off her second serve, while Diatchenko was able to win only 32% points off her second serves. Sharapova hit a total of 24 winners to eight unforced errors, while Diatchenko hit 18 winners and had 26 unforced errors.

Sharapova converted five of the 13 break point chances she had on Diatchenko's serve and saved four of the five break points on her serves. Both players remained largely at the baseline, with infrequent approaches to the net. Diatchenko however won a higher margin of points at the net as compared to Sharapova, 44% to 20%.

Maria Sharapova Vitalia Diatchenko
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