A ‘Maria Monday’ on the Centre Court of Aviva Centre in Toronto, the Canadians packed to cheer for the five-time Grand Slam champion, Maria Sharapova. It was her first match after her Wimbledon‘s withdrawal and Sharapova lost 6-4, 3-6, 4-6 to the 16th seed, Anett Kontaveit in the opening round of Rogers Cup 2019.
The Estonian, Anett Kontaveit began with two consecutive double faults. Kontaveit could grasp a point, as Sharapova flawed a return, but an impeccable forehand winner shored up Maria’s breakpoint conversion.
Failing to consolidate her service, with a double fault error on the breakpoint, World Number 82, Maria Sharapova was broken back. The ladies found their rhythm in the next two games and played some decent tennis on their service games, with Kontaveit uplifting her level, Sharapova aced out a service for a 2-2 scoreline.
Sharapova had a little inconvenience on the return of serve but after her first return, she blazed out consecutive forehand winners on the Estonian’s court and led by 4-3 in the first set.
Sharapova Fans For #RC19!
She last played in Canada eight years ago, with the love from the audience and ‘Come On Maria!’ cheers, the Russian ace consolidated her serve at 5-3.
Making a wobbly start while serving for the set due to Kontaveit’s prowess, an energized Maria Sharapova quickly emerged to scrape off the breakpoint and then close out the set with her deadly weapon of a forehand.
She takes the set!
6-4 in Toronto!
Both of them faced numerous breakpoints throughout the second set Sharapova was a break-up in the set and her unplayable forehands continued. However, Kontaveit broke back at 2-2.
During the peak time in her career, Sharapova has won about 60 matches a year, but over the past three seasons combined, she has won 43 matches collectively.
In the interim…
With some surreal tennis coming from Estonian’s end with her coach reminding her, “Maria hasn’t played as much tennis as you (this year)” Kontaveit made a swift seal of the set after she held a 5-3 with Maria flawing.
Anett’s passing shots were excellent throughout the match and probably she was playing her best tennis in the past three months.
Second set Anett, 6-3!
The multiple-time Grand Slam champion, Maria Sharapova has been sidelined for a major part of the season. Despite her shortcomings and lack of match practice, her performance was peerless in Toronto.
Both of them continued to play elongated games in the deciding set, and Kontaveit was refusing to sit back as Sharapova was on her toes to progress into the second round.
No breakpoints emerged until 4-4 in the final set, and Maria Sharapova could respond to Kontaveit’s deadly returns but flicking the ball.
The ladies maintained the quality of their service games, and finally, Kontaveit faced a break chance on Maria’s serve, but Sharapova slammed it off.
The game was seesawing on both the edges with Sharapova gaining time violation warning as she exceeded 25 seconds, and the game was played for 16 long minutes. Finally, on her third break chance, Anett could covert that crucial point. Thereafter, Maria was put under pressure.
The elongated game of deuces
Match Point After 2 hours and 40 Minutes!
One of the best WTA matches of 2019 came to an end with Kontaveit ceasing Maria’s stay in Toronto and a high level of tennis was depicted on a Monday evening.
Canadian support in the decider, thank you, guys!
Anett Kontaveit will next meet the victor of Venus Williams and Carla Suarez Navarro at Rogers Cup 2019, and the same healthy Sharapova will be next seen in Cincinnati, Ohio.