One of the most intriguing matches to take place on Thursday will be between former No. 1 Maria Sharapova and top Australian Samantha Stosur. This marks the 15th time these two competitors will clash on the professional tour, with Sharapova leading the series with a dominant 12-2 record against the former French Open finalist.
World No. 9 Maria Sharapova faced a unexpected tough match-up in the second round of the Mutua Madrid Open on Tuesday, as she rallied from a break down in the third set to defeat American youngster Crhistina McHale 6-1, 4-6, 6-4. It was a tight finish for the Russian, as McHale was five points away from picking up the upset victory, as she led 4-2, 40-30 in the deciding set before Sharapova mounted the comeback.
“After a really good start to the match, I didn’t keep that level,” Sharapova said. “I didn’t keep doing what I was doing. I think I had a bit of a letdown. But she’s a good competitor – she won’t just give matches away, and she works really hard out there, and I think she really showed that today.”
Next up for Sharapova is an intriguing match-up with top Australian Samantha Stosur, whom she leads 12-2 in the series.
World No. 19 Stosur won a turbulent battle with Spain’s Garbine Muguruza, 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 to reach the third round of the tournament. After a weak start to her 2014 clay court season, with an opening round loss in Stutgart, Stosur rebounded by producing one of the upsets of the tournament so far when she defeated Dominika Cibulkova in the opening round in Madrid, and will now look to repeat her efforts on Thursday against Sharapova.
This marks the 15th 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 12-2. Sharapova is 2-0 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 Straight Sets