Roland Garros defending champion Maria Sharapova will look to secure her place in the second week of the tournament when she meets Lucie Safarova in the fourth round on Sunday. This will likely be an intriguing and exciting contest, as the two have clashed on five previous occasions on the WTA tour, with Sharapova leading the head-to-head series 4-1. The Russian has won the last four consecutive matches against Safarova, including two clay court wins.
One of the more compelling third round matches took place on Friday when Sharapova crossed paths with Sam Stosur to rekindle their rivalry. While many anticipated an enthralling affair, Sharapova proved to be took much for her Aussie adversary and secured the win in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4.
“Just getting the job done. The conditions in the first match and today have been quite tough. And in those moments it’s always tough to really assess the level, because as much as you want to improve and find some sort of perfection, you never quite know where the direction will be. Especially with the spin of my opponent today, I just had to be steady and consistent, and I did that quite well.”
Sharapova will come up against Lucie Safarova, who defeated No. 20 seed Sabine Lisicki in straight sets 6-3, 7-6(2) to find her way into the fourth round of the tournament.
“We haven’t played in a while,” Sharapova said. “The last time was a really tough match in Stuttgart last year where she was serving for the match. I know I have a tough one ahead of me, and lefties are always tricky. It will be my first one of the tournament. I will definitely need to be ready against her.
This is the sixth time that Sharapova and Safarova will meet on the WTA tour, with Sharapova leading the series 4-1. She has won their four most recent encounters, with Safarova only winning their first meeting back in 2010. Sharapova also leads the series 2-1 on clay. While this match has the potential of going three sets, an in-form Sharapova should be the favourite to win the match.
Prediction: Maria Sharapova in Three Sets