Canadian declares she had ‘extra motivation’ to beat Maria for the first time
MADRID been allowed to compete again following her positive test.
Eugenie stood by her comments about Maria on arriving in the Spanish capital and after Monday’s victory the Canadian said recent events had made her more fired up for the game.
“I definitely had some extra motivation going into today, obviously I had never beaten her before and then there were other circumstances,” she told a news conference.
“I was actually quite inspired before the match because I had a lot of players coming up to me privately wishing me good luck, players I don’t normally speak to, getting a lot of texts from people in the tennis world that were just rooting for me.
“So I wanted to do it for myself, but also all these people. I really felt support.”
After suffering a tough defeat, Maria avoided getting drawn into the extra furore surrounding the
I definitely had some extra motivation going into today, obviously I had never beaten her before and then there were other circumstances.
“I’ve been part of this game for many years. I know what the drill is,” she said. “But at the end of the day, it’s just two athletes competing against each other, and I’m one of them. That’s how I treat this game.
“What you work for for so many hours every single day is to be on the winning end of matches. Today was just not that day.”
Monday’s enthralling contest, which lasted nearly three hours, certainly lived up to the hype.
Eugenie, ranked 60th in the world, entered Madrid after five tour-level opening round losses in a row and her three-set first round win over Alize Cornet was her first since the Australian Open in January.
But her extra determination to beat Maria was on display as she managed to win a gruelling 70minute first set against the 30year-old Russian by clinching the 12th game.
Maria, who reached the Stuttgart Grand Prix semi-finals last month in her first tournament since being banned, was given a pep-talk by coach Sven Groeneveld at 2-1 down in the second and roared back to win four straight games to wrap up the set.
But the Russian played too many risky shots in the decider and, after saving three break points in two consecutive service games, she was broken in the seventh game.
Maria broke back immediately but then dropped another service game to allow Eugenie to serve out for the match.
The pair endured a brief, awkward handshake after Eugenie claimed a place in the third round against top seed Angelique Kerber, who she beat on her way to the Wimbledon final in 2014.
“It was a very tough match, not only physically and tennis-wise, but also mentally and emotionally,” Eugenie added.
“Each point was a battle from the first point. It was really a fight. I’m just proud that I came out stronger in the end and held it together in the third set.” Reuters
Eugenie Bouchard celebrates winning the match against Maria Sharapova in the Madrid Open on Monday.REUTERS