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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sharapova Eyes 'Tough Rounds' Ahead

APMaria Sharapova of Russia pumping her fist after beating Christina McHale of the United States 6-2, 6-1 during their match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2009.

NEW YORK — A rash of startling upsets on Maria Sharapova's side of the U.S. Open draw has not elevated the Russian's chances of winning her second title at Flushing Meadows, the three-time Grand Slam winner said.

Fourth-seeded Yelena Dementieva, also from Russia, and fifth-seeded Jelena Jankovic, from Serbia, were unexpectedly bounced from the tournament on Thursday and are no longer on Sharapova's radar.

Sharapova, however, refused to see that as an opportunity.

"Just because other people are struggling doesn't make me a bigger contender," Sharapova said after routing 17-year-old American wildcard Christina McHale 6-2, 6-1 in a second-round match under the lights at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

"I'm a contender when I'm in the draw. That's the way I look at it. I play one match at a time. "I mean, other people's struggles don't make my draw or anything else in my path to a Grand Slam easier."

Next up for Sharapova will be Melanie Oudin, the 17-year-old giant-killer who produced the biggest upset of the tournament when she stunned Dementyeva 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.

Sharapova said she saw some of the match, and when "Melanie had to step it up, she certainly did." "In the times when she could have made errors, she came up with some really good shots," said Sharapova, who won the U.S. Open in 2006.

"I've got a tough round ahead of me. "I'm sure she's going to swing and have nothing to lose, which she doesn't. But I'm looking forward to that."

The popular 22-year-old Sharapova, still trying to shake off the rust from last October's shoulder surgery, concedes that Oudin might be the crowd favorite at Flushing Meadows.

"That's totally understandable," she said. "We're in New York City. I'm a Russian playing against a young, up-and-coming girl that has a tremendous amount of potential.

"It would be strange if they weren't rooting for her."