Maria Sharapova told reporters she is feeling inspired by fans reaction and the respect she has received so far from players at the US Open after returning to the sport from a 15-month doping ban.
The Russian wild-card, who reached the third round in New York on Wednesday with a comeback 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-1 victory over Hungarian Timea Babos after stunning second-seeded Simona Halep on Monday, said she is loving the special feeling she is getting at the event.
GAME, SET, MATCH!
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"I've had an amazing reaction from fans since I've been back and that's been very special," she told reporters. "I mean, I felt it while I was away. I felt it in a real presence since I've been back.
"It's a very special feeling."
Sharapova added that she feels the respect of other players at the tournament.
"I definitely feel the respect from the athletes. Certainly when I play against them, in terms of the level they play with," she said.
"That's important to me. I think from a respect level, when you're able to respect your rivals and compatriots, that's really important, and I feel that."
The 30-year-old will next be in action on Friday against American Sofia Kenin.