In the third round of Roland Garros, seed No.28 Maria Sharapova stormed past WTA’s ace queen Karolina Pliskova, who was absolutely inferior to the flawless Russian, hitting four double faults and just one ace. Sharapova’s 18 winners were answered by just five on Pliskova’s side, as the five-time Grand Slam champion advanced to the fourth round in only 59 minutes, 6-2 6-1.
Pliskova, seeded sixth this fortnight, has never so far beaten Sharapova. It may be a surprising fact, but they’ve faced each other only twice and just how intimidating it is to have Sharapova on the other side of the net was perfectly described by her first-round opponent Richel Hogenkamp:
When you play with other girls you feel like it’s not a problem to hit an easy cross-court shot and grind into rallies. With her, it’s all-in from the serve and return and even from the warming-up. Everything is in full force at a 100%.
There’s no 80% with her. She is one of the few players to make you feel the pressure. That’s a reason to start missing and hit double faults.
Petra Kvitova, whose 13-match winning streak was snapped today in the third round by in-form Anett Kontaveit, isn’t surprised by Sharapova’s triumph over Pliskova, although she didn’t expect such a dominant win:
It’s not a surprise to me. I think she’s playing great. She had a great run in Rome. She loves to play here. Otherwise she wouldn’t have won twice here. Maybe the score a little bit surprised me, but I think that she’s on the good way back.
Third-seeded 2016 French Open champion Garbine Muguruza dropped serve only once to Samantha Stosur in a 6-0 6-2 rout to reach the fourth round on Saturday, while 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens, tenth seed in Paris, advanced with a 4-6 6-1 8-6 victory over Camila Giorgi.