Mallorca: Kerber maintains mastery of Sharapova

Published by Tennismash

Angelique Kerber (Getty Images)
Angelique Kerber beats Maria Sharapova for the fourth straight time to reach the quarters in Mallorca – perfect preparation for her Wimbledon title defence.

Angelique Kerber has delivered another straight-sets defeat to Maria Sharapova to advance to the quarterfinals of the Mallorca Open.

In a clash between multiple Grand Slam champions, Kerber scored a 6-2 6-3 victory over Sharapova after a similarly dominant 6-1 6-3 win in their previous meeting at Australian Open 2018

She has now won her last four matches against Sharapova, with her last loss to the Russian coming all the way back in 2013 in the Stuttgart semifinals.

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“It’s always tough to play against Maria and especially in the second round,” said Kerber, who now leads the head-to-head series 5-4.

“I think everybody was enjoying the match, everybody was looking forward (to it) and I hope we give our best today. It’s great being back in Mallorca – I love this place and I’m looking forward to playing the next match here tomorrow.”

That match will come against No.6 seed Caroline Garcia, the 2016 Mallorca champion who beat Spanish wildcard Paula Badosa in three sets.

Thursday’s triumph marked the first time Kerber has won back-to-back matches since Monterrey in April; since then she has battled an ankle injury and was a first-round loser at the French Open.

The defending Wimbledon champion is returning to form at the right time.

“If you have a lot of wins before Wimbledon, this is the goal. I’m here to play good matches against the best players in the world, and of course it gives me a little bit more confidence to the next matches and the next days before I go to London,” she said.

“I think a need a little bit more matches (to find my highest level) but I’m on a good way and this is the most important thing, to have a lot of good matches.”

Also progressing to the quarterfinals were Amanda Anisimova and Belinda Bencic, who set up what should be an exciting showdown for a place in the last four.

Anisimova, who recently reached the French Open semifinals at just 17 years of age, progressed with a 6-2 6-4 win over Alize Cornet.

“It feels amazing to be in the quarterfinals at my first grass tournament,” said Anisimova, who is playing in her first event since her breakthrough run in Paris.

“It was really hot and my opponent was playing very well, so it was quite a battle, especially in the end. I’m really happy with how I was able to play in the end, and my performance, I had to make it rise.”

Bencic, the third seed, advanced when American qualifier Shelby Rogers retired in the third set of their match citing a shoulder injury.

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