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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

Tennis

Madrid Open: Serena, Sharapova ease into quarters
AFP
Madrid, May 09, 2013
First Published: 16:28 IST(9/5/2013)
Last Updated: 19:01 IST(9/5/2013)

World No.1 Serena Williams cruised into the Madrid Open quarter-finals as she dismantled 13th seed Maria Kirilenko 6-3, 6-1 in just an hour and four minutes on Thursday.

The American, who is yet to be beaten in eight matches on clay this season, held a perfect 6-0 head-to-head record with the Russian before the match and never looked in danger of extending that streak to seven out of seven.

Williams didn't even face a break point during the match as she broke at 3-3 to move ahead and then again in the final game of the first set.

The second was even more straight forward for the 15-time Grand Slam champion as she raced into a 5-0 lead and then served out in style to book her place in the quarters where she will face Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues.

World No.2 Maria Sharapova also continued her stroll into the quarter-finals without even losing a set so far as she over came Sabine Lisicki 6-2, 7-5.

The Russian, who could overtake Williams at the top of the rankings should she win the title this week, broke the Lisicki serve four times to prevail in a disjointed opening set.

Serve was more dominant in the second set with both players exchanging just the one break early on before Sharapova secured a crucial second break at 5-5 and served it out to take her place in the last eight.

And the reigning French Open champion believes her game on the clay is rounding into shape nicely as she prepares to begin the defence of her title later this month.

"I think when you win a Grand Slam on a surface, it would be pretty mean of me to say that I'm not comfortable on the surface," she told a press conference on Thursday.

"It took me many years to get to the level of where I am today. It certainly didn't happen overnight.

" I worked extremely hard on getting stronger and recovering better, moving better on the court, giving myself a better position on the court, especially after being on the defensive and trying to play aggressively as I always do on quicker surfaces.

"Winning the French Open was an incredible memory and one that I'll have for the rest of my life.

"Sometimes when you feel like you have everything or you won everything, it can be pretty easy to just say, why do I need it again? But I find a lot motivation in going back and trying to defend my title.

"Over the years, it's brought me a lot of great memories and a lot of tough ones. I did win last year but years before I had tough losses there as well."


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