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WTA Madrid - Maria Sharapova vs. Christina McHale (20:30 BST)

Maria Sharapova (credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Maria Sharapova takes on Christina McHale tonight in the second round of the 2013 Mutua Madrid Open (20:30 BST start).


On paper it seemed like Sharapova would blitz past Alexandra Dulgheru in round one, but seasoned followers of the game knew that the Romanian wouldn't be a pushover. She was once ranked in the top 30 and won two Premier titles on this surface before falling foul of injuries.

Sharapova found herself a break down early on before coming through to win 7-5 6-2.

"I played an opponent who has done fairly well on this surface in her career and has a couple of titles," the Russian said afterwards.

"She had quite a big injury last year but I know she's capable of playing really good clay court tennis, and I expected that from her. Our last match was pretty tough, too. Considering all of that I was really happy I got that break back and was able to win in two sets." 

She now plays the unpredictable McHale who's having a fairly average season so far after breaking through in 2012. McHale is playing well this week though, coming through qualifying before battling past Peng Shuai 7-5 5-7 6-1 in two and a half hours.

McHale won't be a pushover, but Sharapova should progress.

Prediction: Sharapova in two.


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WTA Madrid - Maria Sharapova vs. Christina McHale (20:30 BST)

Maria Sharapova takes on Christina McHale tonight in the second round of the 2013 Mutua Madrid Open (20:30 BST start).

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