Maria Sharapova vs Simona Halep Preview – WTA Madrid Open 2014 Final

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Maria Sharapova
An exciting contest is scheduled to take place in the Madrid final on Sunday afternoon, as fourth seed Simona Halep and former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova clash for a third time on the professional tour. Halep is yet to defeat Sharapova on the professional tour, with the Russian leading the head-to-head series 2-0. Both victories took place in 2012, when Halep was a shadow of her current self. Check out the Sharapova vs Halep Head to Head.
World No. 9 Maria Sharapova cruised into her second consecutive Mutua Madrid Open final after dispatching third seed Agnieszka Radwanska in straight sets. It was an exceptionally strong showing from the Russian, as she stormed through the opening set 6-1, and lead 3-0 in the second before Aga showed some resiliency to pish herself back to 3-3. It was too little too late though, as Sharapova would break again and finish the set 6-4.
“I couldn’t really do much in the first set,” Radwanska said. “She was hitting the ball very well, very deep. She really pushed me back. In the second set I played better, but she really hit good shots in the important moments.”
Sharapova lost in last year’s Madrid final to Serena Williams, who withdrew from the quarter-final earlier in the week with a thigh injury.
Quick Facts:
  • Sharapova has not lost to anyone not named Serna Williams on clay in nearly three years. 
  • Sharapova will rise to No. 8 as runner-up in Madrid, or No. 7 if she wins the event.
Fourth seed Simona Halep reached her first WTA Premier Mandatory final on Saturday afternoon, after rallying from a set and 3-1 down against Petra Kvitova, eventually prevailing in three sets. It appeared to be a bad day for Halep but she would recover fantastically to win the match.
“I knew it was going to be a tough match,” Kvitova said. “She beat me in the New Haven final, so I was looking forward to revenge. It was a long match and was a good fight throughout. She was just better in the end, but it was still a good match for me.”
Quick Facts:
  • This is Halep’s first Premier Mandatory-level final.
  • The last time she faced Sharapova, she was barely ranked in the Top 50.
This marks the third time these two competitors will meet on the professional circuit, with Sharapova leading the series 2-0 with two hard court victories in 2012. This is the first time they will meet on clay, which is certainly Sharapova’s preference and will probably factor into tomorrow’s result.
Prediction: Maria Sharapova in Three Sets
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