Russian came through a tough examination on Arthur Ashe Stadium on Wednesday afternoon
MARIA SHARAPOVA is sitting pretty in pink in the third round of the US Open.
Sharapova wore a day version of her crystal-encrusted dress and, although there was less sparkle in her tennis, there was plenty of the same grit which had helped her through an epic encounter with Simona Halep in the first round.
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Against world No 59 Timea Babos, the Russian had to scrap her way back into the match on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Sharapova twice broke the Babos serve when the Hungarian was serving for the opening set but then lost the tiebreak 7-4.
Babos retrieved an early break in the second and then had two chances to open up a 4-2 lead.
But Sharapova held her nerve and her serve, and after breaking Babos in the very next game, levelled the match.
It was only in the decider that the five-time Grand Slam showed her class to clinch a 6-7 6-4 6-1 victory.
Sharapova admitted it had been hard to come down from the high of beating Halep under the Monday night lights and go again.
She said: “It was definitely tough to control the emotions yesterday, because as much as you want to be happy about the match and what I accomplished there, you want to move on fast.
“Finding that balance is hard.
“I just wanted to get it done today, and I did.
“It wasn’t my best tennis. I felt like it was a scrappy match but some of those days can be the best, when you get through and give yourself another chance.
“In the second set, I felt physically fresh and I used that as confidence.
“Every day that I have another chance to play out here at the US Open is a special day.”