One of the most intriguing matches to take place in the third round in Paris will be between former No. 1 Maria Sharapova and top Australian Samantha Stosur. This marks the 17th time these two competitors will clash on the professional tour, with Sharapova leading the series with a dominant 14-2 record against the former French Open finalist. They met last season in the fourth round of Roland Garros, where Sharapova won the match in three sets.
In her second match as the defending champion in Paris, Maria Sharapova needed straight sets to work her way past fellow Russian Vitalia Diatchenko. She struck four aces, 24 winners and converted five break points to secure the 6-3, 6-1 win on Wednesday morning on Philippe-Chatrier.
“She has a very heavy ball, and I think on clay specifically it just really penetrates through the court,” Sharapova said of Stosur. “The spin she’s able to create from her forehand and her serve, she has one of the best kick serves in the game. She’s really able to put that power into it and kick. She also slices a lot. There are a lot of untraditional things she does, but I guess I enjoy the challenge of playing her.
Later on in the day, the 26th seed Sam Stosur thrashed her French wildcard opponent Amandine Hesse on court to secure entry into the third round of the tournament. She won elevn consecutive games from the start of the match to lead 6-0, 5-0 before Hesse clawed her way onto the scoreboard. She eventually won the match 6-0, 6-1 to set up the French Open rematch against Sharapova.
“Last year was very close, and all of a sudden it was very far away,” the Australian added. “That’s certainly a position I’d like to try to get in again, and hopefully this time if I do get in a position, it won’t fall away so quickly. But I feel like I’m playing well. I’ve had a good lead-up, and now I’ve played another really good match here, and hopefully it’s all going to help me going into this next one.”
This marks the 17th 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 14-2. Sharapova is 4-0 against the Australian on clay and will be looking to maintain that undefeated record en route to the fourth round in Paris.
Prediction: Maria Sharapova in Three Sets