French Open 2013 - Maria Sharapova vs. Eugenie Bouchard (13:30 BST)

Maria Sharapova (credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Maria Sharapova takes on Eugenie Bouchard this afternoon in the second round of the 2013 French Open at Roland Garros (13:30 BST start).

Sharapova's clay court form this year has been nothing short of outstanding and she's playing the kind of tennis that strongly hints towards a successful title defence being possible at Roland Garros. Nonetheless, she'll need to get the better of some top opponents before she can clinch another slam in Paris.

The draw often throws up some intriguing clashes in the early stages, and Sharapova's meeting with Bouchard is such a contest. The young Canadian isn't currently in a place where she can consistently get the better of the best players in the world but she's shown a lot of potential and has enough game to go a very long way in the WTA.

Sharapova and Bouchard are both sponsored by Nike and know each other fairly well. This doesn't appear to have any impact on the Russian's mindset going into the match.

"She's still a competitor," Sharapova told reporters.

"We played against each other in Miami.  It was a good performance by me, but I think, you know, when you're at that point in your career, every month is a learning experience for someone her age and at that level.  And, you know, I'm sure that she will be looking forward to the next one."

"I think you have to respect anyone that's across the net from you," she continued. "There is a reason why they're there, whether they have had a good week or a bad week or they're not having a good month or they're having a great month. It just doesn't matter, because you're going to be facing them and your job is to try to beat them."

When Sharapova faced Bouchard in Miami this year she won 6-2 6-0. It wouldn't be hugely surprising to see a similar result later today, yet Bouchard isn't the kind of player who appears to have many of these kind of thrashings ahead of her. Maybe she can find more answers for the world No. 2 here at Roland Garros.


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French Open 2013 - Maria Sharapova vs. Eugenie Bouchard (13:30 BST)

Maria Sharapova takes on Eugenie Bouchard this afternoon in the second round of the 2013 French Open at Roland Garros (13:30 BST start).

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