Australian Open 2015: Maria Sharapova wary of Eugenie Bouchard threat

Maria Sharapova is set to face Eugenie Bouchard in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open

Maria Sharapova is expecting a testing encounter when she takes on Eugenie Bouchard in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

The Russian overcame China’s Peng Shuai 6-3 6-0 on Sunday to book her place in the last eight and a showdown with the Canadian.

Seventh seed Bouchardbeat Irina-Camelia Begu earlier in the day – and Sharapova is braced for a tough match.

“She’s been playing really well in this tournament, and also in the Slams the last year,” Sharapova said.

“Really confident tennis and inspired form. I expect her to play a really good match.

“We only played one time last year, which was at the French, and that was a really tough match for me. I had to come back from being down one set to love. I’m sure she’ll come out and play extremely well.”

The two women last met in the semi-finals of last year’s French Open, with Sharapova winning 4-6 7-5 6-2.

“I kind of just remember a grind,” Bouchard said. “I didn’t feel like I was playing great tennis the whole time, sometimes here and there, but that’s what it’s about – trying to win and trying to always play better, trying to just get through it even if you’re not playing your best tennis.

“I felt like I was close with her. I remember that. I remember I had chances and stuff. I just remember a really tough match. And I was pretty disappointed afterwards, so that’s definitely motivating.”

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