A fantastic quarter-final match-up is scheduled to take place on Saturday afternoon at the Mutua Madrid Open, as top seed Agnieszka Radwanska and defending 2013 runner-up Maria Sharapova clash for the 12th time on the WTA tour. Check out the Sharapova vs Radwanska Head to Head.
Radwanska needed three sets to defeat French qualifier Caroline Garcia in two hours and 17 minutes. The scoreline ended 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 and was as tight as it appears on paper. The Polish No. 1 appeared to be looking at a straight sets victory, but Garcia fought valiantly to force a decider.
World No. 9 Maria Sharapova improved to 10-5 overall against the second seed Li Na after she rallied from a set down to earn the victory and enter the final four in Madrid. It was a shaky start from the Russian, but she recovered to improve her first serve percentage, 21 winners and secured 4/7 break points. Her issue was her errors, as she hit 1 ace to 7 double faults, as well as 39 unforced errors throughout the match.
Sharapova has now defeated a gauntlet of tough opponents in Madrid, including Koukalova and Samantha Stosur, and is now one win away from reaching the final of the event, where she finished runner-up last season. Considering she had lost to Williams, who was forced to withdraw from the event, it will be interesting to see if she is able to top her last result from 2013.
This marks the 12th time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour. Sharapova holds the overall 9-2 lead, including a perfect 3-0 record on clay. Their last clay court encounter was a couple of weeks ago in Stuttgart, and at the 2011 French Open prior to that, both of which Sharapova won in straight sets. Sharapova has the luxury of facing Aga on clay, which is a surface she is very comfortable on. While the Polish No. 1 will be looking to pounce on Saturday, it will be Sharapova who will weather the storm for a three set come-from-behind victory.