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Sharapova vs Kasatkina WTA Montreal live streaming, preview and tips - Sharapova and Kasatkina meet for the first time in all-Russian duel

Andrew Hendrie in WTA Tour 8 Aug 2018
  • Maria Sharapova vs Daria Kasatkina is live from Montreal at 12.30pm local time on Wednesday (5.30pm BST)
  • First career meeting between the pair
Maria Sharapova (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

An all-Russian contest awaits in the second round of the Coupe Rogers in Montreal on Wednesday as 2009 runner-up Maria Sharapova squares off against 12th seed Daria Kasatkina.

(geo restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify)

Playing in Canada for the first time since 2014, Sharapova was tasked with a potentially tricky opening round clash against former teenage rival Sesil Karatantcheva, but the former World No. 1 handled the occasion with ease, dropping just three games as she crushed the Bulgarian for the fifth time by a 6-1 6-2 scoreline. Also having to deal with a suspension of play on Monday night, Sharapova returned up 4-1 in the first set on Tuesday and lost just two games for the rest of the match as she won her first match in Montreal since an opening round win over a No. 27 ranked Garbine Muguruza back in 2014.

"I was aggressive, I served well throughout the match," Sharapova said after the win. "I think I did everything a little bit better, especially towards the end of the match. I haven't played in a few weeks. No matter what tournament or who you're playing against, you have to figure things out as you go. I think I did a good job of that today."

Indeed, Sharapova hasn’t played in the last few weeks and hasn’t really featured much at all throughout 2018. The five-time Grand Slam champion is 16-8 for the season so far, reaching the semi-finals of Shenzhen and the third round of the Australian Open to start the season before opening round exits in Doha and Indian Wells resulted in the Russian withdrawing from Miami with a forearm injury. Sharapova went on to have a pretty good clay season in what was her best sustained patch of form since returning from a 15-month doping ban in April last year, reaching the quarter-finals in Madrid and Roland Garros and the semi-finals of Rome.


But once again, Sharapova couldn’t continue her promising form and she promptly bombed out in the opening round of Wimbledon to qualifier Vitalia Diatchenko. And that’s been the story of Sharapova’s return to tennis over the last 18 months - showcase some encouraging form while never really quite recapturing her best tennis - such as beating Simona Halep at the U.S. Open last season and winning the Tianjin Open - but then suffering a letdown in her next tournaments. Currently ranked No. 22 in the world, can Sharapova build some momentum in Montreal this week?

Daria Kasatkina (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Daria Kasatkina stands in her way. The 21-year-old has been enjoying a steady rise up the WTA rankings over the last few years now, but she’s taken her game to fresh new heights in 2018 as she’s compiled a 33-18 record to surge up to No. 12 in the world - just one spot off her career-high.

After winning her maiden WTA title on the green clay of Charleston last season and finishing 2017 with a fourth round run at the U.S. Open and a runner-up showing in Moscow, Kasatkina has been brilliant throughout the first seven months of 2018, registering seven top 10 wins. The 21-year-old only won one match in three tournaments to begin the season in Australia, but after reaching the semi-finals of St. Petersburg, Kasatkina made the biggest final of her career at the Premier Mandatory BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, beating Sloane Stephens, Caroline Wozniacki, Angelique Kerber and Venus Williams before falling to Naomi Osaka.

Kasatkina has been very consistent ever since, making quarter-finals in Charleston and Madrid before making back-to-back Grand Slam quarter-finals at the French Open and Wimbledon - the first time she had reached the last eight of a major. The Russian didn’t fare too well at the inaugural Moscow International shortly after Wimbledon, bowing out in the second round to World No. 90 Tamara Zidansek, but she did well to prevail in three sets in her Montreal opener on Tuesday, overcoming recent San Jose runner-up Maria Sakkari by a 6-4 4-6 6-1 scoreline.

Kasatkina and Sharapova have never played before, with Wednesday’s showdown in Montreal promising to be a highly entertaining affair. Kasatkina, at her best, is equipped with a fine balance of attack and defence, and that solid brand of tennis could be enough to beat Sharapova. The former World No. 1 has been erratic since returning to tennis and has generally stumbled against the best players in the world - and that’s what Kasatkina is at the moment. I’m backing the younger Russian to be too solid on Wednesday and advance into the Round of 16.


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Sharapova vs Kasatkina WTA Montreal live streaming, preview and tips - Sharapova and Kasatkina meet for the first time in all-Russian duel

An all-Russian contest awaits in the second round of the Coupe Rogers in Montreal on Wednesday as 2009 runner-up Maria Sharapova squares off against 12th seed Daria Kasatkina.

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