WTA Madrid, Quarter-Final Preview: Maria Sharapova v Caroline Wozniacki

SharapovaThursday’s blockbuster match-up will see Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki reignite their rivalry with a first encounter in 2015.  Tennis has killed it today and I feel so behind in catching up with everything that has happened! It’s been arguably, the best day of the year so far.  In the first match of the day, Sharapova earnt a tough win over Caroline Garcia, 6-2 4-6 7-5.  The Frenchwoman had her opportunities in a big hitting and bold third round match.  From watching on the live scoreboard, about a set and a half into play I thought Maria would win in two.  I was surprised when Garcia broke at 5-4 to take the second set.  I’ve just watched back the third set which was pretty gripping stuff.  It seemed that a pair of drop shots at 4-5 and 5-5 from Maria were pretty crucial to this match.  The second of those saw Caroline on her back and some marvellous GIFs.

It was a classic Sharapova performance, peaking when it really mattered and closing out proceedings with a second serve ace down the T.  Garcia’s handshake seemed to garner attention on Twitter but I didn’t see much wrong with it.  OK, it was a little slappy and cold, but put yourself in Caro’s shoes… you’ve just lost a really tough match and your opponent fistpumps pretty much in your face.  Maria didn’t do anything wrong but if you’re Caro, you’re not exactly beaming! Wozniacki won her third match this week in straight sets, coming through 6-3 6-2 against Agnieszka Radwanska.  It was the most one-sided scoreline in their head-to-head since 2010.  There were plenty of breaks but it was Caro who was the more dominant on return, breaking six times.  Radwanska won just 18% of points on her second serve.

Sharapova leads the head-to-head against Wozniacki, 5-4.  Their last two matches were both very memorable and ended with Wozniacki winning in three sets.  The Dane pulled out one of her most impressive sets of tennis to completely overwhelm the Russian player in the third set of their US Open 4th round clash which finished, 6-4 2-6 6-2.  Their last encounter in Singapore was more Wozniacki outlasting Sharapova, coming through 7-6(4) 6-7(5) 6-2 in an absolute slugfest.  Sharapova has won their two previous matches on clay both in Rome.  Wozniacki seems to be showing some improvements on clay and looks more comfortable movement-wise than ever before.  Improving on last year is not exactly difficult where injury and other issues didn’t help her plight.  Confidence seems to be at its highest in 2015 after a so-so start.  On the clay of Madrid i’d back Sharapova, particularly after her win over Garcia which could prove to be a pretty big one as the clay season really starts to hot up.

Prediction: Sharapova d. Wozniacki in 3 sets

35 thoughts on “WTA Madrid, Quarter-Final Preview: Maria Sharapova v Caroline Wozniacki

  1. Wozniacki in 3, Williams and Kvitova in 2.
    Shame Ivanovic didn’t make the quarters as I LOVE her matches with Serena.

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      • Serena would’ve have beaten her easily. Ana has been relatively poor this season. The Good thing about Madrid is that one can usually pick two of the possible semi finalist at Roland Garros at the end of this tournament. Playing well here is good preparation for the Slam Grande.

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  2. Sharapova in 3. She may have lost their last two matches, but this is clay we’re talking about. Maria owns this surface. I think Maria will pull off the win. *Knock on wood*

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  3. I agree that the Aga-Caro was not as close as predicted. Aga had to win to stay in the top ten and I thought Caro would feel a little guilty and let her back in at some point. Wozniacki finally seems to be getting some momentum this year, though, so I say she beats Sharapova in three. I don’t trust Carla against Serena and I think Begu could unsettle Petra for a set, so Serena in straights and Kvitova in three.

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    • No letting Aga back in the match would have been a mistake, they broke each other quite a few times. You cannot feel guilty against someone like Radwanska otherwise you may have to pay the price. I was impressed with Aga’s performance, she lost the match but she wasnt awkward or uncomfortable in her hitting (which she has been in many of her matches this year), she was also quite aggressive and her ground strokes had more pace.

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  4. I am going for Sveta to win over Lucie…sorry James:) I have met Lucie personally in Sydney,still their H2h is 4 all,Sveta did defeat Lucie on clay,though Sveta can’t afford to produce 9 D/F like she did in her match against Stosur….Sveta in 3 mind blowing sets:)

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  5. My picks

    Sharapova d Wozniacki in 3 sets

    Kvitova d Begu in 3 sets

    Serena d CSN in 2 sets

    Svetlana d Lucie in 3 sets , well James Sir you won’t agree with me but your fav Lucie is still not in full groove , lost a bit of touch after Doha,yesterday too she took 3 sets for a relatively easy game which she should have sealed in two.

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    • To be honest, I think I might agree with you. Sveta’s a tough match on clay although Lucie should be fresher. It’s hard to gauge how well Lucie is playing this week because none of her matches have been streamed. It’s been a very favourable draw but you still have to beat the players in front of you and she’s managed to do that!

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      • I also think Kutzy will win over Lucie based on her current form. Also, the surface suits her style very well.

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  6. I think that Serena, despite escaping Vika this time, is still sauer after that match. In her mind she lost at 0-40 and 5-6 and played only out of habit or so. And the big news is that her reign over WTA is over, Vika won’t flip it next time. She did enough to get deep in Ms. Williams’s head before Rome and, most notably RG. I think Serena won’t outdo Steffi Graf with the Slams.

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    • You say that like Serena hasn’t dished out two bagels this week. She’s in her mid thirties … she’s going to have these bad days where she has low energy and everything hurts. The fact that she’s still coming through them is a testament to how great a champion she really is though.

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      • I’d say that Vika issued a serious warning to Serena. Not to take Rome and RG as already accounted. Halep could have a bite off of Williams too if she gets through the first round 🙂

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      • All I’m saying is don’t be so quick to write off the player who is number one in the world by quite some distance and winner of the last two Grand Slams.

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    • Serena could of finish Vika of in 2 set. They both had match point in the match. When Serena was down and out ,she won 7 straight points. Vika needs to play small tournaments and get quick points just like Halep, Elina, Pliskova and Timea. They keep giving her crappy draws. Good to see Vika is back. Serena has 19 grand slams vs Vika 2, show some respect.

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      • I disagree about her playing smaller events as I’ve said already. I think the risks of her losing in small tournaments and damaging her top player mentality would drag out her recovery. And the points on offer at International events aren’t great anyway.

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    • I think Serena was a bit casual. She would have won in two if she was more serious. But yes at 0-40 down, I thought the match was over, cant believe that Vika lost 3 match points in a row with “double-faults”.

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    • Graf though an exceptional player benefited beyond measure from Seles’s absence. As Evert very rightly said “I would have won more slams too if somebody had stabbed Martina”. Graf doesnt even come close to what Navratilova, Evert and Serena have achieved. I really hope Serena catches up to Graf, I really want her to.

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  7. Serena in two, Maria in 3, Petra in 2 very tight sets (Begu might take set), Svetlana d. Lucie in 3. I prefer Lucie, but I think Sveta takes this

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  8. Lucie is one of my favorite players, but since it’c clay I go for Tsveta. Hopefully I’m wrong for our sweetheart Lucie

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  9. James when I get a chance i will post my photot of Lucie when I met her at Sydney tournament,I was working there,she said to me would you like to have this photo with me? I was having a bad hair day,women posters will know what that is all about:) I said no I would just prefer a photo of you,she smiled,she was a delight to meet,she has been one of my favorite ladies on the tour.

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    • That’s so nice of her. 🙂 I had a one on one run in with Petra at Sydney and I wished her luck in her next match only to be grunted at before she walked off haha. I don’t think anything of it but it’s nice Lucie was so kind. 🙂

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      • I wished Petra good luck in her match in the final this year at Apia International,Sydney when I was watching her pre tournament warm up,she said thanks so much:) I also talked to her coach who has to be one of the nicest coaches on the tour,those two have a great realationship:) Tom I would not take it personally,sometimes these players have other things on their minds.I tried to talk to Dinara Safina one year at Sydney she said she wasn’t talking to anyone? lol!

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  10. Oh Sveta you are becoming the ‘Queen of Saving Match Points’:) well done Sveta,your next opponent is Maria Sharapova,should be a fun match:)

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    • Yesssss ….just so much of sheer determination….i just hope she is not tired by back to back and just give Maria a tough fight and maybe who knows she can crush her too….Sveta is the womens “David Ferrer” to me…..Not to mention about Lucies game which was good barring she was unable to convert the crunch points

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      • Yes i know that…but its just a wish…if any player’s attitude i don’t like of the court its her…you need a lil bit of humility too no matter how big a player you are….i can’t count a single palyer on WTA tour having cordial friendly relationship with her

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      • Kuznetsova? She’s friendly with everyone on tour…
        If you’re talking Sharapova then I agree. I also consider her a cheat, which is why I’ll never respect her game.

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  11. Rightly said …and she enjoys sadistic pleasure in cheating…thats something amazes me…just win and win anyhow at any cost

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    • Which is why I love how Serena hands her arse to her every time. Because Serena is probably the only player on the WTA who refuses to play into her shady tactics.

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      • Hehehe…:)) and may be this time too here in Madrid….i wish a crushing 6-2, 6-2 defeat gifted to her by Queen Serena

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      • I think chances are it will probably be between Maria and Serena now. And I’d favour Serena for the win since Sharapova has never won a set against her on red clay.

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