Tearful and on her knees, emotional Sharapova ousts Halep to make the US Open second round

In the most spectacular first-round WTA encounter on Day 1 of the US Open, wildcard Maria Sharapova ousted world No.2 Simona Halep 6-4 4-6 6-3 during the night session on Arthur Ashe Stadium, continuing the despair of the Romanian who had missed four chances to grab the No.1 ranking in recent months and extending the head-to-head record against her to 7-0.

Facing a Top 10 player for the first time since her comeback from doping suspension, Sharapova opened the match with a 3-1 lead, but her break turned out to be just the first in a string of four and Halep eventually ended the break fest by holding serve for 4-all. The glamorously-clad Russian, who sported a crystal-studded black lace Nike dress that costs a whopping $500, sealed the deal in the next two games, suppressing Halep’s resistance on the first set point.

The loss of the first set must have been a big blow for Halep, who was not only haunted by the very negative career record against Sharapova, but also by the fact that Sharapova entered the match with a stunning 18-0 record in night matches at the US Open. However, Halep stayed strong, never stopped fighting and even though Sharapova raced to 4-1 in the second set, the Romanian won four consecutive games and later on saved a bunch of break points to force the decider.

Replicating the starts of the first two sets, Sharapova, currently ranked 146th, earned a 4-1 advantage and this time there was no recovery for Halep, whose backhand sailed long on the first match point of Sharapova, who fell to her knees, started to cry and gratefully exclaimed “Thank you” to the audience.

More photos from this emotional match you can find in our Monday’s US Open gallery.

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8 thoughts on “Tearful and on her knees, emotional Sharapova ousts Halep to make the US Open second round

  1. Ferondi

    The best thing about this victory is that I get to see that beautiful Black Dress at least one more time or we get a chance to see the other Daytime Dress …… One thing I know for sure, she is a really really strong woman…. To be able to play like that under such criticisms and harsh judgement from her peers,….Not even a meldonium or any drug can do help her to do that…… And for that reason, I respect her more than anyone in the Tour…..

  2. Jacob

    Was an incredible match! I’m glad Maria won! I didn’t go to university just so i could stay home and watch it lol

  3. Nini

    I stayed up until 4AM ( France ) to watch this exciting match , I couldn’t be happier fro Maria ,it must not be easy for her to comeback after all she’s been through but she’s showing everyone how strong and determined she is , and that’s what 5 time GS champions are made of ! I’m glad her hard work is paying off , way to prove those haters wrong ! and as for Halep , I don’t dislike her but her fans make it really hard for me to even bother , never really liked her ‘pushing’ playing style either , not worthy of number 1 in my opinion . Hopefully Muguruza will earn that spot .

  4. Emman Damian

    It was a great match! I knew Sharapova will win because of her determination. We rarely see her cry in the court and I’m so convince that this is one of the best 1R match in US Open history.

  5. Marija Post author

    I absolutely agree with you guys. Among other outstanding qualities, Maria is incredibly strong and that’s something the vast majority of WTA players can only be envious at. It’s not easy being Sharapova and with or without drugs affecting her reputation, there are many qualities to her character that make her unique and hard to beat.

  6. Jim

    It was indeed a great match. And I have to admit, not being a Maria fan per se, she showed a lot of grit and intestinal fortitude in winning that match over Simona. She definitely hit a home run as we say in the States with the dress and little zip up coat. 2 luv the lace and sequins. 🙂

  7. Marija Post author

    Jim, Maria is unarguably one of the biggest fighters on tour and no one’s heart can stay immune to that spirit and determination. She’s achieved what she’s achieved with a good reason. She’s a hard worker and has a vision.

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