Maria Sharapova upends Alexandra Dulgheru at the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open
Russian former World Number 1 Maria Sharapova defeated Romanian tennis pro Alexandra Dulgheru in their first encounter at the second quarterfinal of the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open, scoring a 3-6, 7-6(8), 7-6(5) victory over her opponent.
The Russian pro took just a little under three and a half hour to win the closely-contested match.
World Number 28 Alexandra Dulgheru began the match well, making just two double faults. Her great form coincided with a lapse in Sharapova’s gameplay, as the Russian player committed seven double faults and broke her opponent just
once. She herself was broken four times out of eight opportunities during the match. Dulgheru won the match with 54 per cent of the total points in the set.
Sharapova seemed to return to form in the second set, even though her double faults were unusually high. She won 78 per cent of her first serve points, and managed to drive Dulgheru to 13 break point opportunities. The Romanian
fought off all but three of these break points, after which she broke Sharapova thrice herself. The set was a very close one, with Sharapova winning by taking just three points more than her opponent.
This brought the match to a tie, forcing the quarterfinal into a tie-breaker. Sharapova seemed to be more confident after her second set win, managing to score one ace and convert all three of her break points successfully. She
also saved two of five break points herself and eventually won the set with 42 out of 79 total points.
This match is another one which shows that Sharapova may be returning to form. Earlier this week, she said, “There have been some matches where I felt like little pieces start coming together. When I came back after missing so
many tournaments and matches, the first thing I just noticed was how those natural instincts just go away so much.”
She will be facing German tennis player Andrea Petkovic in the next round, after the seeded player upset World Number 6 Jelena Jankovic in the first quarterfinal of the event.