Sharapova should silence Bouchard in Madrid grudge match
Canadian is in poor form
BT Sport 1
There's plenty of action in the Madrid Open and the biggest story of the second round will be played out in the women's draw when Maria Sharapova faces Eugenie Bouchard for a place in the third round in what could be a fiery encounter.
Bouchard made headlines after she labelled Sharapova, who has just returned from a 15-month doping ban, a "cheater" and questioned whether the Russian should be allowed to compete in the sport again.
Sharapova is back though, and she built on her encouraging semi-final run in Stuttgart by coming from a set behind to beat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in her Madrid opener.
She certainly doesn't lack for fitness after more than a year away from tennis and the five-time Grand Slam champion is set to get stronger as she builds toward the French Open, for which she is the 7-1 joint-favourite.
Bouchard won for the first time since the Australian Open when she beat Alize Cornet on Saturday but the Canadian has been in woeful form this year, producing a number of error-strewn performances, and she could get steamrolled by a fired-up Sharapova with a point to prove.
The Russian star is odds-on to get the job done but she should arguably be even shorter than she is. Paddy Power have already clipped Sharapova into 4-6 from evens to win 2-0 but she should be strong enough to cover a 4.5-game handicap.
M Sharapova -4.5 games
2pts 4-5 Paddy Power