Whether other U.S. Open competitors like Eugenie Bouchard like it or not – and whether Caroline Wozniacki deems it questionable – Maria Sharapova looked like a woman who belonged in the spotlight, demanding attention with each scream during her Friday night third-round victory at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Earning plenty of cheers from the crowd even against an American underdog, she held off fearless 18-year-old Sofia Kenin, a fellow wild card, to win 7-5, 6-2, at Flushing Meadows.
But Sharapova – despite her 33 unforced errors to Kenin’s 16 – never looked back, and during match point lightly lobbed a soft shot over the corner of the net, which Kenin hit out of bounds on a backhand.
One second-set rally may have been the best of the tournament, earning her a standing ovation and an emphatic roar from the crowd, after both women had given their all bolting up and down the court.
2 seed Simona Halep on Monday and Timea Babos on Wednesday, all on Ashe, when Wozniacki slammed the USTA for allowing someone slapped with a 15-month drug ban to return to her first major tournament at center court.
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