Maria Sharapova was experiencing a mini meltdown in her first Grand Slam action since the drug suspension, an emotional roller coaster of a match that included loud grunts and tense moments from both sides.
Each come back difficult. After come back, winning over and proving winning victory. She was hold for 2 years for her drug charges. After that, she enter in to court to prove her tennis skills and fighting spirit.
Playing against world ranked 2 is not a joke.
Then, Sharapova ran off the court. She literally left after collapsing in the second set.
Nearly 10 minutes later, the Russian returned through the tunnel and the tennis momentum completely shifted. If that was a bathroom break, Sharapova obviously needed the relief. If that was a show of gamesmanship – whether to recalibrate herself or throw off the opponent – it worked.
She waited over two years for another grand slam chance after testing positive for a performance enhancing drug, so what’s another 10 minutes?
Sharapova went from dropping five straight games in the second set Monday to winning straight in the decisive third, lifting the 30-year-old to a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, first-round victory over second-seeded Simona Halep.
When it was over, she collapsed to the ground and cried while waving to the crowd – not the typical reaction of a five-time Grand Slam champion following a first-round victory.
“I just thought this was another day, another opportunity, but this was so much more,” said Sharapova, who simply overpowered her much smaller opponent.
The tournament’s female headliner needed a wild card invitation to get into the US Open, and then drew Halep – a two-time Grand Slam finalist – in the first round.
That turned into a bigger problem for Halep, who, after Monday, is 0-7 in her career against Sharapova. Once the force in women’s tennis with a marketing potential as strong as her ground strokes, Sharapova hasn’t won the US Open in 11 years. She’s now 30, past her prime but certainly capable of a long run through the racket.