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    Showing posts with label Australian Open. Show all posts

    Eugenie Bouchard looking to finally get one up on childhood idol Maria Sharapova at Australian Open

    She was Eugenie Bouchard's childhood hero, but the Canadian will be out to ensure Maria Sharapova doesn't become her grand slam villain when the pair meet in the Australian Open quarter-finals.

    Bouchard, who progressed with a three-set victory over Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu on Sunday afternoon, has never beaten Sharapova. In what is being dubbed the battle of the glamour girls of women's tennis, Bouchard will have to overcome a 0-3 record against the Russian, which includes the semi-final heartache at last year's French Open.

    "I kind of just remember a grind," Bouchard said of the 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 loss to Sharapova at Roland Garros in 2014. "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, get through it, even if you're not playing your best. I felt like I was close with her. She probably wasn't - we were both maybe a bit off. You're never really playing amazing. Maybe 10 per cent of the year. So I remember that, and I remember I had chances and stuff. I just remember a tough match. I was pretty disappointed after, so that's motivating."
    Bouchard has often been compared to Sharapova since her breakout performance at last year's Australian Open. Sharapova is one of the most marketable sportswomen in the world, and while Bouchard still has a long way to go before reaching such heights, it's believed she is on a similar path.

    However Sharapova, who was often compared to Anna Kournikova at the start of her career, said it was important to create your own identity. "I think we all want to go through our own paths ... when I was coming up, I was compared to Kournikova for many years in my career and still occasionally name always comes up in interviews and articles," Sharapova said. "That's just part of it, part of the game, part of the business. It's understandable. It is what it is. As I have said, I believe I was still a teenager, I don't want to be the next anyone. I want to be the first Maria Sharapova. And that's how I've been throughout my whole career. And we all want to create our own path and go through our own career. And we're all destined for some sort of thing. We work extremely hard at a sport, and that's what we want to be known for."

    In three meetings, Bouchard has only managed to take one set off Sharapova. The 20-year-old won just two games in their first encounter in Miami in 2013, and failed to take a set at the French Open later that year. She did manage to win the first set in the semi-final at Roland Garros last year, but the experienced Sharapova finished strong to topple Bouchard, going on to win the tournament with a victory over Simona Halep in the final. But Bouchard has welcomed the clash with the world No.2, admitting she was going to be aggressive in her approach to the quarter-final.

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