The enthralling match-ups continue to take shape at the loaded Madrid Open this year, as the first quarter-final match-up has officially been set. Maria Sharapova will meet longtime rival Caroline Wozniacki in an intriguing contest with interesting repercussions. Sharapova leads the head-to-head series 5-4 but lost their last two consecutive meetings, including at the US Open last season.
For the first time in their head-to-head series, Maria Sharapova as faced with a grueling battle against Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia. While usually able to win the match in straight sets, Sharapova needed three sets to secure the victory and advance to the quarter-final. After over two-and-a-half hours of court time, the Russian finally exited the court with 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 victory over Garcia.
“I’ve played against her a few times and she’s been young and up and coming for a few years,” Sharapova said. “She’s already done a great job of getting in a good position. She’s winning titles and beating top players.
“I think that the most important thing is maintaining that level and keeping that consistency. You know, I’ve seen many of her matches and she can come up with some great stuff. She’s been able to do that against really good players.”
In a much simpler match-up later on in the day, Caroline Wozniacki ousted Polish No. 1 Agnieszka Radwanska in straight sets to advance to the following round of the Madrid Open. She struck three aces, won 75% of her service points and won six break points to win the match 6-3, 6-2 in one hour and 22 minutes.
This marks the ninth time that the two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Sharapova leading the head-to-head series 5-4. Sharapova held three consecutive wins over Wozniacki until she was ousted at this year’s US Open tournament. That was later followed up with another Wozniacki victory at the WTA Championship in Singapore. However, while the hard court encounters are split at 3-3, SHarapova is still yet to suffer a clay court defeat to the Dane.
Prediction: Maria Sharapova in Three Sets