A rematch of the 2011 Wimbledon Final is scheduled to take place between world No. 7 Maria Sharapova and Czech No. 1 Petra Kvitova in Miami. Since that meeting, Sharapova has won three of the last four encounters and leads the head-to-head series 4-2.
The Russian No. 1 was forced to battle work hard in her fourth round match against Kirsten Flipkens. Sharapova dropped the opening set 6-3, then rallied back in the second set 6-4 to force a decider. While there were tense moments early on, Sharapova eventually secured the double break to roll into the quarter-final. The five-time finalist in Miami was partially to blame for the competitiveness of the match, as she commit far more errors than were characteristic of her, as well as hitting 5 double faults in the process.
“She’s a different type of opponent. There aren’t too many girls that hit a slice backhand 90% of the time in the rallies. You expect that because she’s been around for a long time, and it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise, but I wasn’t doing too much from my end and made a lot of mistakes from the first ball, which gives your opponent that confidence and the time they need to do whatever they want.
World No. 8 Petra Kvitova stormed into the Sony Open quarter-final, after dispatching of Ana Ivanovic 3-6, 6-0, 6-0. After a slow start in the first set, Kvitova staged a magnificent comeback, raising her gameplay and intensity to win the next 12 consecutive games. Throughout the second and third sets, Ivanovic held game point on only two occasions – emphasizing Kvitova’s utter dominance in the latter stages of the match.
This is the seventh time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Sharapova leading the series 4-2. The Russian has won their last three consecutive meetings, yet two of those matches took place on clay. She leads 2-1 on hard courts, yet their last match on that surface took place at the Australian Open in 2012. Sharapova has looked surprisingly weak in her service games this week in Miami, which is an aspect Kvitova will be looking to capitalize on. While this has the potential of going three sets, Sharapova will need to pick up her game significantly if she is to advance to the semi-final.
Prediction: Petra Kvitova in Three Sets