Sharapova blows away Bouchard to march into semis

Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:14am EST
 
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By Greg Stutchbury

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Maria Sharapova showcased all of her canny experience and brutal efficiency as she gave Eugenie Bouchard a 78-minute tennis lesson to advance to the Australian Open semi-finals on Tuesday.

The 20-year-old Bouchard reached the last four in Australia and France as well as the Wimbledon final in 2014 but was no match for Sharapova, who showed she was not ready to be usurped by the younger generation just yet in a 6-3 6-2 victory.

The 27-year-old has now beaten the Canadian in each of their four meetings, three of which have been at grand slams, and set up a meeting with 10th-seeded compatriot Ekaterina Makarova for a place in the final.

"I felt pretty good from the start (and) I kept my focus throughout the whole match," Sharapova told reporters. "I didn't feel that I had too many letdowns, which is important.

"When I did have a few slips I was able to come out with great first serves or really powerful returns.

"But overall really happy with the way the match went."

The Russian second seed jumped on a clearly nervous Bouchard from the first game of the match by breaking serve and did not allow her opponent to settle, which short-fused the Canadian's attacking ground game.

The Russian also controlled the baseline and pressured the Canadian's second serve, winning 15-of-21 points when Bouchard served a fault.   Continued...

 
Maria Sharapova of Russia stretches to hit a return to Eugenie Bouchard of Canada during their women's singles quarter-final match at the Australian Open 2015 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 27, 2015. REUTERS/Thomas Peter