After falling 2-4 down in the opening set, fifth seed Maria Sharapova went on to win 10 straight games to defeat compatriot Maria Kirikenko 6-4 6-0 in her opening round match at Flushing Meadows. A positive start for the 2006 champion who missed last seasons US Open due to a shoulder injury.
Playing her first match since her second round loss at Wimbledon, Maria Kirilenko started the match off surprisingly well. Kirilenko matched Sharapova in the opening couple of games before sneaking ahead with the first service break of the match in the fifth game. Kirilenko consolidated the break to take a 4-2 lead and an upset looked to be a real possibility. Kirilenko mixing things up nicely and successfully moving Maria Sharapova around the court.
The fifth seed quickly turned things around, winning four straight games to take the opening set 6-4 with a swinging volley. Sharapova played much smarter tennis in the second set, cutting her unforced error tally down to just 3 as opposed to 15 in the opening set. Down 0-3 Kirilenko took a medical timeout to have her left ankle strapped. However when play resumed Sharapova continued to dominate. Kirilenko double faulted the match away, Sharapova winning 6-4 6-0 in exactly one and a half hours.
Kirilenko wont be pleased with the way the match ended however I’m sure she will take some positives from the match, she played really well in the opening set and looks to fit and healthy and ready to finish the year off well. Maria Sharapova will face Romanian Alexandra Dulgheru in the second round as she looks to claim her second Grand Slam title of the year.