Kerber advances to 3rd round in Madrid, secures No 1 ranking

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"I wanted to do it for myself but also for all of these people, so I really felt support".

With both players now finding a new gear in the race for the opening set, it was Bouchard who would come out on top, breaking in a 12-minute eleventh game before serving her way out of trouble to take the opener, 7-5. On her third break point, Bouchard stepped into a return and finished the rally with a strong crosscourt forehand.

This may be the spark needed to reignite her career, however and she will be hoping to build on this success when she faces Angelique Kerber, who is about to replace Serena Williams as world number one, in the next round.

"I don't think that's right and she's not someone I can say I look up to any more".

In the first set's seventh game, the former top-ranked Russian seemed to lose focus as she mistimed a drop shot at 30-30 and let her opponent back into the match by dropping three games in a row.

Maria Sharapova and Eugenie Bouchard were all business in their Madrid Open clash.

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"Sharapova is now marooned on 250 points with one tournament left before the entry "cut off" date for Wimbledon".

Meanwhile, Bouchard was pumped after the match and said, "I was extra motivated, I had never beaten her before and there were other circumstances". She played her first tournament after the ban in Stuttgart last month, being eliminated in the semifinals by 17th-ranked Kristina Mladenovic of France. If everything affects you on and off the court, I think that would be a really challenging position to be in.

Meanwhile, Bouchard's friend and sometime mixed doubles partner Nick Kyrgios made it through the first round with a 7-6 (7-1), 6-4 victory over Marcos Baghdatis.

Sharapova, 30, has played down the dispute and said she was not anxious about Bouchard's jibes.

Eugenie Bouchard from Canada gestures to the crowd after defeating Maria Sharapova from Russian Federation at the end of their Madrid Open tennis tournament match in Madrid, Spain, Monday, May 8, 2017.

"I want you to be the hunter", coach Sven Groeneveld told Sharapova and Bouchard was soon being pulled apart as Sharapova reeled off four straight games to take the second set 6-2.

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Bouchard, who on Saturday won her first main-draw match since January, has said Sharapova's return was "unfair to all the other players who do it the right way".

The decider was a sapping affair, with each player coming from 0-40 down to avoid being broken - in Sharapova's case, the Russian did it in successive service games.

Sharapova was playing her second tournament since the ban was lifted after she tested positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open. "She's a cheater and".

"Players I don't normally speak to, getting a lot of texts from people in the tennis world that were just rooting for me".

The air was thick with anticipation as the match came in the wake of the verbal volleys exchanged between the players.

Second seed Karolina Pliskova suffered a surprise defeat, with the Czech player losing 6-3, 6-3 to Anastasija Sevastova of Lativa.

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