Sharapova set down to defeat American Alison Riske at Shenzhen Open

Vastavam web: Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova came back from a set down to defeat American Alison Riske at the Shenzhen Open today and book a spot in the quarter-finals.Riske, who had been hoping for her first win against the former world number one, proved to be a tough opponent early in the match before the Russian finally overcame her 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in just under two and a half hours.”I’m just glad that I came back. She played a really great match and as I said to her at the net, I thought it was a great quality match. In the end, I won it so I have another opportunity to keep going.”

Despite Riske’s early lead, Sharapova hit 34 winners, nearly three times Riske’s total.The world number 59 was helped by 11 aces, and managed to save seven out of 10 break points.Number two seed Ostapenko of Latvia lost to the big- serving Czech Krystina Pliskova 6-1, 6-4 in just an hour and 20 minutes.

Ostapenko had beaten Williams via a super tie-break 6-2, 3-6, 10-5 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, but she had no answer to the power of Pliskova, identical twin sister of former world number one Karolina.Pliskova, third on the WTA Tour’s ace charts last season, raced out to a 5-0 lead to start the match.”My serve was great today, especially in the first set. I feel like it’s really fast here, so that can be tricky for both of us, and the first of us playing fast won the point.”