Madrid Day 5 Preview
Published May 08, 2012 10:40
MADRID, Spain - Wednesday's line-up at the Mutua Madrid Open features five Grand Slam champions, the current World No.1 and Sara Errani's attempt to win her 17th consecutive clay court match.
Wednesday, Second Round
 Agnieszka Radwanska (POL #3) vs. Sara Errani (ITA #24)
Head-to-head: Radwanska leads 4-1
On the eve of the 2012 season, Sara Errani was just another talented Top 50 player waiting to make that step up to the next level. Four months, three titles and a maiden Grand Slam quarterfinal later, it is fair to say she has made that step. Next on the to-do list is a win over a Top 10 player. And on Wednesday the Italian gets the opportunity to tick this off when she faces World No.3 Agnieszka Radwanska. Should Errani win, she will take her current clay court win-streak to 17, making it the best since Justine Henin won 27 on the spin six years ago. However, this is easier typed than done. Like Errani, Radwanska has been in the form of her life this year and has the cerebral, all-court game to outfox the wiliest of clay courters.
 Victoria Azarenka (BLR #1) vs.  Ana Ivanovic (SRB #15)
Head-to-head: Ivanovic leads 2-1
While recent defeats to Marion Bartoli and Maria Sharapova may have finally removed her aura of invincibility, Victoria Azarenka has shown this week that her appetite for the fight remains undiminished. The World No.1 was pushed harder than expected against both Svetlana Kuznetsova and Andrea Hlavackova, and is likely to face an even tougher challenge next in the form of 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic. As is often the case with Ivanovic, the outcome of this match is on the Serb's racquet; if her trademark forehand is on song she has the power to pierce Azarenka's watertight defenses, if it's not then unforced errors could prove her undoing.
 Angelique Kerber (GER #14) vs.  Li Na (CHN #8)
Head-to-head: Li leads 3-1
After making the quarters in 2010 and then the semis in 2011, is this the year Li Na makes it all the way to the Madrid final? Early signs look good for the Chinese No.1, who has found her feet on the blue clay with comfortable wins over Garbiñe Muguruza Blanco and Sílvia Soler-Espinosa. Li's next opponent, though, presents an altogether tougher proposition. Angelique Kerber has been one of the WTA's form players in recent months, posting a series of eye-catching results - including an upset win over Li in Indian Wells - thanks to an exhilarating mix of athleticism and shot-making. These two qualities were on full display during a surprisingly one-sided win over Venus Williams in the last round and a repeat performance against Li could lead to some early-afternoon fireworks on Sánchez-Vicario.
Also on court…
Reigning champion Petra Kvitova continues her defense against qualifier and fellow Czech Lucie Hradecka on Stadium 3, while Samantha Stosur, Maria Kirilenko and Roberta Vinci are in action on the outside courts.
For more on today's matches, see our Match Notes in the Press Center.