Student Bouchard ready to be tested by Sharapova

Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:35am EST
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By Greg Stutchbury

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Eugenie Bouchard will spend Monday 'cramming' for one of the toughest exams of her fledgling career when she faces second seed Maria Sharapova in the Australian Open quarter-finals.

The Canadian advanced to the last eight at Melbourne Park on Sunday following a 6-1 5-7 6-2 victory over Romania's Irina-Camelia Begu in the first match on Rod Laver Arena before Sharapova took to the court and dispatched China's Peng Shuai next up.

Bouchard, seeded seventh, was pleased to have got through her seesaw battle with the Romanian and while she knew that one practice was not going to fix some of the mistakes she made on Sunday, it would help her confidence to work out some kinks.

"I believe in cramming," Bouchard said with a grin. "Obviously, yeah, one practice can't do much. But it's just about going out there, having a good feeling, hitting the ball, and trying to get ready for the next match."

Last year Bouchard was a finalist at Wimbledon, a semi-finalist at Melbourne Park and she also made the last four at Roland Garros, where she lost to Sharapova.

She is the most high profile player in a small group of young challengers to the established order of women's tennis.

The 20-year-old was aggressive from the start on Sunday against Begu but her intensity dropped as the Romanian threw caution to the wind and forced a third set.

Bouchard said it was a lesson learned.   Continued...

Maria Sharapova of Russia hits a return to Peng Shuai of China during their women's singles fourth round match at the Australian Open 2015 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 25, 2015.  REUTERS/Issei Kato