Second seed Maria Sharapova has claimed a double bagel in her first round match at the Australian Open 2013, causing a somewhat disgruntled Puchkova to suffer a 6-0 6-0 annihilation.
In what was Sharapova’s first meeting with her fellow Russian opponent Olga Puchkova, it did not take long for the AO 2012 runner-up to find her sense of rhythm on court as she started to consolidate consecutive breaks to take the early ascendancy.
Sharapova began the match with a rather shaky first service, Puchkova establishing two break point opportunities, however the world number two’s capability to serve out the aces at crucial points secured her the first game.
Following this early posed pressure on serve, Sharapova took her game to a whole new level, launching deep forehands to push her opponent back at the baseline to set the point up for the driving volley winner.
Sharapova delivered her third stellar ace, landing the ball perfectly down the deep, middle corner of the service box to ascend to a comfortable 3-0 lead.
Throughout the entirety of the match, Puchkova appeared to be incapable of matching Sharapova’s stamina and aggressive play and too often found herself playing in a defensive fashion.
The second seed’s driving volleys fuelled her dominating play and the scoreboard presented her with the confidence to take some risks and go for a series of driving, topspin forehand winners which often spiralled out of Puchkova’s reach.
In the fifth game of the first set, Puchkova managed to place some pressure on Sharapova’s service, levelling the score to deuce, however failed to perform at integral moments; dismissing her chances of claiming back a break.
It was not too strenuous a first match for the world number two who was able to prevail in just under an hour without appearing to place too much pressure on her shoulder or ankle.
After this convincing early victory, Sharapova should be in good form to take on Venus Williams if she were to face her in the third round.
Originally published at The SportingJournal.