Maria Sharapova shattered the fairytale return of 39-year-old Patty Schnyder at the US Open on Tuesday, winning a roller-coaster first round clash 6-2, 7-6 (8/6).
Schnyder, the oldest ever player to make the main draw of a Grand Slam via qualifying, was outgunned by the five-time major champion in the first set and for the majority of the second. However, she bravely battled back from 1-5 down to 6-6, showing the sort of ability and court-craft which won her 11 titles and once took her to seven in the world rankings.
She even saved three match points in the tiebreaker before Sharapova’s 23rd winner of the night sealed victory shortly before midnight.
“My average match against her is like two hours and 20 minutes so I knew I was in for a battle no matter what my story is or hers,” said Sharapova who is now 21-0 in US Open night sessions.