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Maria Sharapova vs. Madison Keys: WTA Cincinnati Round 2 Preview

By Pawan Atri    + Follow

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Keywords: Western & Southern Open | Maria-Sharapova | Madison-Keys
Maria Sharapova vs. Madison Keys: WTA Cincinnati Round 2 Preview
In what will be a shot-making extravaganza, five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova will confront the American Teenage Sensation Madison Keys for a spot in the third round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati on Tuesday. Will the 5th seed succeed in overpowering the 19-year-old with her heavy ground-strokes on the day?

Russian diva Maria Sharapova hasn’t been able to maintain her high standards of consistency since winning her second Roland Garros crown in June as she was knocked out in the fourth round of Wimbledon by the German leftie Angelique Kerber in a nail biting three setter and last week in Montreal, she lost to the wily Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro in the third round.

However, she didn’t look out of form in both those matches; instead it was her opponents who played well above their potential to beat her in those matches. Also, the twin defeats will not affect Sharapova much as she isn’t defending a single point in the second half of the year because she hardly played after Wimbledon in 2013.

In fact, her only match after The Championships last year came against Sloane Stephens here in Ohio and it ended in a loss as a shoulder injury prevented her from giving her all in the contest. Thereafter, she pulled out of all the competitions as she was advised to take a prolonged break from the game to recover from that injury.

In the meantime, Madison Keys set up an enticing showdown with Sharapova after earning a convincing 6-2, 6-4 triumph over Serena Williams’ Wimbledon slayer Alize Cornet on Monday. The girl from the United States actually put up a grand show of big and accurate hitting from the back court to comfortably dismiss the challenge of the Frenchwoman. And, with victories over Jelena Jankovic and Angelique Kerber already under her belt in 2014, she will get there on court against Maria with no fear in her mind.

Head-to-Head: This would be the first occasion when these two players will collide with each other on the WTA Tour with Sharapova heading into the match as the heavy favorite. 

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