US Open 2014: Maria Sharapova credits ‘superior shape’ for edgy victory

US Open 2014: Fifth seed Maria Sharapova battles past world No95 Alexandra Dulgheru in three sets

Fifth seed Maria Sharapova Photo: Marianne Bevis

Maria Sharapova credited her “superior” fitness after the fifth seed edged past Alexandra Dulgheru to reach the third round of US Open on Wednesday.

The five-time Grand Slam champion dropped the first set 4-6 to her opponent, who is ranked No95 in the world, before launching a fight back at Flushing Meadows.

It’s really good to get through a match like this, where you put yourself in a really tough position

Maria Sharapova

Sharapova won 10 of the final 13 games of the match to see out a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory, setting up a third-round encounter against No26 seed Sabine Lisicki.

“She played really well,” Sharapova said. “I started off really well, but didn’t take the opportunity to go up 3-0. Then she started getting a little bit of a rhythm.

“The conditions were tough. You start in the sun; you finish under the lights. It was a very long match, but in the end I felt like I was in superior shape and could have played a few more sets. Mentally, that helped me a lot.

“It’s really good to get through a match like this, where you put yourself in a really tough position, but then you’re able to find a way to get back in it and finish really strong.”

Sharapova holds a 5-1 head-to-head advantage over Lisicki, although the former world number one lost to the German in their most recent Major meeting at Wimbledon in 2012.

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