One of the most intriguing matches to take place in the round of last 16 in Paris will be between former No. 1 Maria Sharapova and top Australian Samantha Stosur. This marks the 16th time these two competitors will clash on the professional tour, with Sharapova leading the series with a dominant 13-2 record against the former French Open finalist. Their most recent meeting took place in Madrid, which Sharapova won en route to lifting her second title in as many weeks.
With the absence of Serena Williams in the draw, Maria Sharapova certainly realizes the massive opportunity she faces to win a second Grand Slam title in Paris. She was clearly focused on Friday afternoon, as she annihilated Paula Ormaechea in 51 minutes, closing out the match with a double bagel. It was not as simple as the score makes it seem, as Sharapova faced several break points early on but eventually took control of the match
“I started off a little bit nervous, and I came back and I think she had another two break points when we came back after the rain,” Sharapova said when asked about her fleeting moment of bother.
“It was great to win that game, obviously get the advantage, and follow through with that. “I thought as the match went on I started playing better and better, and it was great to get the win in the way that I did.”
Top Australian Samantha Stosur exptended her dominant streak against Dominika Cibulkova to 5-0, as she ousted the surging Slovak in straight sets to reach the fourth round in Paris. Stosur took advantage of her powerful forehand to control the contest, as she won 72% of her firsts service points, and also managed 10 aces in the process for a final score of 6-4, 6-4.
“It’s very pleasing. I’m really happy with the way I played today and I think it’s the first time I won three matches in a row for a while, too,” Stosur said. “And to keep playing well, you know, when your opponent is putting you under pressure at certain times in the match, it’s really amazing to come out of those as well.
“I just love playing here. I’ve had some really great moments here and some of the best matches of my career actually. Hopefully I can still have a few more matches like this.”
This marks the 16th time that Sharapova and Stosur will clash on the tour, and while Sharapova once held an undefeated 9-0 record against Stosur, it has become a more competitive series over the past couple of years, as the record is now 13-2. Sharapova is 3-0 against the Australian on clay and will be looking to maintain that undefeated record en route to the quarter-final round.
Prediction: Maria Sharapova in Three Sets