Maria came from a set down against Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia to reach the third round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, Italy.
The final score was 3-6 6-4 6-2 as Maria won the match in two hours and 30 minutes.
After dropping the first set, Maria started to find her game in the second set as her serve became a weapon. Maria got the first break of set to lead 5-3 when Cibulkova netted a forehand. Maria was broken in the next game serving for the set but broke Cibulkova’s serve again in the final game to take the set 6-4.
The intensity continued in the third set as Maria got an early break to lead 2-0 and was always the front runner as she dropped only two games throughout the set as the match finished under the floodlights after starting at around 6.00 PM local time.
In Thursday’s third round match, Maria will face world no.24 Daria Gavrilova of Australia. Maria has played the 24-year-old twice before and the series is tied 1-1. Here are the matches they have played against each other:
2015 Miami R2: Gavrilova won 7-6 6-3
2015 Rome SF: Maria won 7-5 6-3
Here is Thursday’s schedule:
Next Gen Arena 11.00 AM CET start (5.00 AM ET & 2.00 AM PT)
Daria Kasatkina (RUS) (14) vs. Elina Svitolina (UKR) (4)
Not before 12.00 PM (6.00 AM ET & 3.00 AM PT)
Aljaz Bedene (SLO) vs. Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) (10)
Benoit Paire vs. Marin Cilic (CRO) (4)
Not before 4.30 PM (10.30 AM ET & 7.30 AM PT)
Daria Gavrilova (AUS) vs. <strong>Maria Sharapova (RUS)</strong>