June 2, 2018
Maria Sharapova showed title-winning form to demolish Karolina Pliskova, the world number six, in barely an hour.
She won 6-2, 6-1 using ferocious serves and returns, and looks ready to give anyone a run for their money in the summer Slams, including Serena Williams.
Pliskova simply didn’t know what had hit her as Sharapova’s game came together like a dream.
This is surely the best the Russian has played since her doping ban left her with a mountain to climb.
And whether or not she wins Roland Garros once more, Sharapova must now be a serious contender for Wimbledon 2018.
A beaming Maria said of her victory: ‘I knew I was up against a really tough opponent and this was a big match to win.
‘I wanted to perform well and give myself the best chance and I did. I was aggressive, played smart and did the right things.’
Meanwhile Kyle Edmund was edged out by Fabio Fognini despite having chances to take control in the final set.
The Italian won 6-3, 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 and Edmund will be left to reflect on his need to stay strong in the big moments of a fifth-set decider.
However, he will treat the experience as an important one to learn from as he approaches Wimbledon and his thoughts turn to the grass.
Make sure you buy your ticket to see Kyle, Andy Murray, Sharapova and all the big stars at the most prestigious tournament of them all – Wimbledon 2018.