Sharapova, Venus Williams Cruise into Third Round

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US OPEN

Maria Sharapova relied on her fighting qualities rather than top form to beat Hungary’s Timea Babos at the US Open.

The Russian wildcard, playing in her first Grand Slam since completing a doping ban, won 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-1 to reach round three.

Babos had two break points to lead by a set and 4-2 but Sharapova came through in two hours and 20 minutes.
“I knew I wanted to get it done and I did,” said Sharapova, who beat world number two Simona Halep in round one.
“I felt like it was a scrappy match but sometimes those days are the best, because you get through and give yourself another chance.”

Sharapova was given a wildcard into the main draw as she is currently ranked 146th following her 15-month doping suspension.
The decision drew criticism from some quarters but Sharapova received a warm reception from the crowd in both matches.
“I think with the way that I played Monday night, I don’t think there are any more questions,” she said.
“I’ve had an amazing reaction from fans since I’ve been back, and that’s been very special.”
The 2006 champion will next face American wildcard Sofia Kenin.

Elsewhere, Venus Williams moved into the third round of the US Open by overcoming France’s Oceane Dodin 7-5 6-4.
The 37-year-old hit 33 winners in the first match of day three’s night session at Flushing Meadows.

The final match of the day saw fifth seed and two-time finalist Caroline Wozniacki suffer a shock 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 defeat by Ekaterina Makarova.

Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza eased past Ying-Ying Duan in straight sets 6-4 6-0.
Fourth seed Elina Svitolina saw off Katerina Siniakova 6-0 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 and next plays Evgeniya Rodina, who beat Eugenie Bouchard 7-6 (7-2) 6-1.

Sloane Stephens, a semi-finalist in Toronto and Cincinnati, defeated 11th seed Dominika Cibulkova 6-2 5-7 6-3.
Eighth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova,who won at Flushing Meadows in 2004, saved three match points to prevail against Marketa Vondrousova in an entertaining encounter on Grandstand Court.

The 18-year-old Vondrousova was left in tears as she lost the final-set tie-break after struggling with cramp.