Maria Sharapova Leads Off Sony Open Night Session with a Win

Maria Sharapova with media

(March 20, 2014) Five-time Sony Open finalist and fourth seed Maria Sharapova beat Kurumi Nara 6-3, 6-4 to begin the Thursday night session in Key Biscayne.

“She made me work extremely hard today,” Sharapova said.  “She’s a really quick opponent, got a lot of balls back, as you saw, made me hit a lot, and made me feel like ‑‑ tried to do too much in certain situations.

Although Sharapova’s match lead off the night session, fans not attending the tourney were unable to watch it on television or on live stream. This was pointed out to Sharapova in her post-match news conference.

“I’m not exactly sure of the logistics of TV, but I know it’s different at every tournament,” Sharapova said.  “Everyone has different rights.  ATP and WTA has different contracts.

“I’m not aware of that.  I’m happy to be on the schedule at this point.”

Always a bridesmaid but never a bride at the Sony Open for Sharapova who has lost five finals.

“I have been close, and I have had my fair share of chances of winning the tournament,” said the Russian.  “Obviously I’m still looking for that.

“But with that said, I have had really great experiences, great matches here, and it would be really special if I could win it, for sure.”

She isn’t giving up her quest for title in Key Biscayne.

“I expect to win because I have won before.  I have won tournaments before.

“So when you’re in the draw, that sense of competitiveness and presence that you have has to be positive and not thinking that I’m here to let somebody, you know, get in the way of what I should do.

“I want to go out there and get it myself, and that’s the attitude that I have.”

The victory puts the Russian into the third round where she’ll play lefthander Lucia Safarova.