Maria Sharapova defeated Daniela Hantuchova 6-4 7-5 in a thrilling first match of the red group at the Sony Ericsson Championships in Madrid.
The match started with an exchange of breaks. Then, the players held their serves until Sharapova took a 5-4 lead and a chance to serve for the first set, thanks to her brutal string of groundstrokes. Russia’s world number six made use of her third set point to win the opening set 6-4.
In the second set Hantuchova won her first service game and then Sharapova handed her three break points with a series of errors. But the Russian didn’t give up, and aided by a few high-quality shots on top of her opponent’s unforced errors, Sharapova held her serve and broke Hantuchova for a 2-1 lead. Later on in the set the Russian had three match points on Hantuchova’s serve, but lost all the chances. Then, Sharapova served for the match, but when she thought she scored a victory on her fourth match point (the first one on her serve), Hantuchova challenged the call and was right! The match was not over yet! Hantuchova evened the result in the second set to 5-5. However, battling Sharapova wanted the victory as soon as possible, broke her opponent right away, and then won the second set 7-5 using her fifth match point.