Maria Sharapova extends stunning US Open record with Jelena Ostapenko win

Maria Sharapova battled through (Picture: AFP/Getty)

Maria Sharapova extended her remarkable unbeaten record in night matches at the US Open with a straight sets victory against Jelena Ostapenko on Saturday night.

The Russian has won all 23 of her contests under the lights in New York, including three already this tournament.

This won’t go down as one of the more memorable ties, but the 6-3 6-2 victory serves as a reminder that the five-time Grand Slam champion is still capable of going toe-to-toe with the best.

While the level shown by the 2006 champion in this year’s edition doesn’t exactly scream of champion material, this half of the draw has really opened up, with only one top-10 seed remaining in the draw.

Ostapenko was beaten (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)

Her next opponent is Spanish 30th seed Carla Suarez Navarro, who stunned sixth seed Caroline Garcia earlier on Saturday, and should she win that, she’ll move just three victories away from a first title in New York in 12 years.

Both players who stepped out onto the Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday evening are partial to a double fault, and Ostapenko began the match by throwing down three in the first game. And what a first game it was.

In an untidy but absorbing 12-minute opener, Sharapova had five break point chances but could not convert and the Latvian held.

The Russian made no mistake at the next time of asking, breaking on her way to a 3-1 lead and totally exerting her dominance over the 10th seed.

Will Sharapova do more damage in this draw? (Picture: AFP/Getty)

A second break followed, with Ostapenko’s error count rising, and Sharapova moved within one game of taking a one-set lead.

Two chances came and went on the Ostapenko serve before the 21-year-old snatched one of the breaks back.

However, an error-strewn game from the world No. 10 gifted the 31-year-old a third set point and she lobbed her opponent beautifully to move 6-3 up.

The beginning of the second set was messy. Sharapova double faulted on back-to-back break points to hand Ostapenko the advantage, but the Latvian was unable to hold her serve either.

Sharapova finally held and broke once more – courtesy of a sixth double fault from her opponent – and made no mistake in booking her spot in the last-16.


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