Madrid Day 6 Preview
Published May 09, 2012 10:25
MADRID, Spain - The last five quarterfinal berths will be booked on Thursday at the Mutua Madrid Open, highlighted by a showdown between good friends and former World No.1s Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki.
Thursday, Third Round
 Serena Williams (USA #9) vs.  Caroline Wozniacki (DEN #6)
Head-to-head: Williams leads 3-1
After getting bested by Serena Williams in their first three meetings, Caroline Wozniacki exacted a measure of revenge by winning their most recent encounter in the quarterfinals of Miami earlier this year. Wozniacki has put early season struggles behind her in going 11-3 in her last 14 matches, including an impressive straight set triumph over rising German star Mona Barthel in the second round here. Williams is even hotter, 19-2 on the year and 9-0 on clay. She dropped just seven games combined in her first two matches here, having no trouble getting used to blue clay. This will be the duo's first battle on clay.
Lucie Safarova (CZE #23) vs.  Maria Sharapova (RUS #2)
Head-to-head: Safarova leads 1-0
Lucie Safarova is no stranger to success in Madrid, having been a semifinalist in 2010 and a quarterfinalist in 2011. She is also no stranger to success against Maria Sharapova, having beaten her in straight sets in their only previous encounter - coincidentally in the first round of this event in 2010. Of course, at that time Sharapova was outside the Top 10 as she continued to recover from a right shoulder injury suffered the previous year. Today she is within striking distance of the No.1 ranking, won her most recent event in Stuttgart and has cruised through her first two matches here.
 Agnieszka Radwanska (POL #3) vs. Roberta Vinci (ITA #20)
Head-to-head: Radwanska leads 3-0
Through two rounds in Madrid, no one has given up fewer games than Agnieszka Radwanska's five. Her second round performance was especially impressive, in that she dropped just one game to Sara Errani, who came into the clash riding a 16-match clay winning streak - the best streak on clay since Dinara Safina also won 16 in a row in 2009. If Radwanska is victorious against Roberta Vinci, she will up to 31 match wins on the year - second-most on the WTA behind Victoria Azarenka's 32. In fact, the only player she has lost to this year is the Belarusian. Vinci is also in good form, having only given up seven games in Madrid. On top of that, she is coming off what tied for her best outing of the year - a semifinal showing in Estoril.
Also on court... Varvara Lepchenko squares off with active clay court titles leader Anabel Medina Garrigues and Ekaterina Makarova plays Lucie Hradecka, who upset defending champion Petra Kvitova in the second round.