Maria Sharapova is wary of the threat posed by Tuesday’s French Open quarterfinal opponent Garbine Muguruza but is firmly focussed on keeping her bid alive for a fifth Grand Slam championship.
The Spanish world No 35 has been one of the sensations in the women’s draw having knocked out world number one and defending champion Serena Williams in round two. But Russian seventh seed Sharapova, who has won each Grand Slam once in her career, will have experience on her side against a player who captured her first WTA title in Hobart this year.
“Our job is to play the opponent that we’re facing on that particular day. That’s how I look at things, I don’t get too far ahead of myself,” said Sharapova who lifted the trophy in Paris in 2012.
“My opponent is (Garbine) Muguruza, and she’s playing a great tournament. That’s what I’m looking at, I’m not looking at anything else, even though I’m very well aware of other matches.”
Muguruza, who overcame the challenge of French wildcard Pauline Parmentier in straight sets on Sunday, made the fourth round in Australia this year and has now gone one round better in Paris.
“I think she’s a great fighter, amazing player. She has really good shots. She has been the world No. 1, so it’s tough,” the Venezuelan-born right hander said about Sharapova.
The winner will take on rising Canadian star Eugenie Bouchard or Spanish 14th seed Carla Suarez Navarro after both players sailed through their fourth round matches in straight sets.
Bouchard has been tipped as one of the future stars on the women’s circuit although the future may be now for the Montreal native who has only dropped one set all tournament.
“I’m confident and I really believe in my skills. I believe I can play with the best girls out there,” said 20-year-old Bouchard who reached the Australian Open semi-finals this year.
Looking ahead to reaching her second last four slot in consecutive Grand Slams, the loss of the top three seeds means the title is there for the taking.
“The top three seeds are such great players and champions,” continued Bouchard on the demise of Williams, Li Na and Agnieszka Radwanska. “On any given day players can have a bad day and things like that.”