Maria Sharapova rediscovers her lost Wimbledon form

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
maria sharapova

Sharapova beat Ioana Olaru in straight sets to reach third round (Photo: Justin Smith)

Maria Sharapova says her failure to reach round three of Wimbledon for two years running helped inspire her to victory in her second-round match with Romania’s Ioana Olaru.

In 2008 Sharapova was beaten in the second round at SW19 by world No.154 Alla Kudryavtseva and suffered the same fate against Argentina’s Gisela Dulko last year.

But this time around the 23-year-old overcame her No.114-ranked opponent 6-1 6-4 to set up a third-round meeting with Czech Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova and says her recent SW19 heartbreaks helped her seal the win.

“I knew, coming into this match that last year, I was on the plane the next day after I lost,” Sharapova told a press conference.

“So I really thought about it, especially towards the end of the match. I was really excited to get through.”

The three-time Grand Slam winner added that an aggressive game-plan from the off ensured she got off to a flying start in the match.

“I did a really good job of (being aggressive) from the beginning,” she continued.

“When I do that, I feel really good about my game. I just kind of stopped in the middle of the second set and let her back in, but fortunately, I was able to get that break back.”

Sharapova faces Zahlavova-Strycova on Friday and should she progress, will then play either defending champion Serena Williams or Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova in round four.

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