Madrid Thursday: Suárez Eyes Revenge
Published May 07, 2014 12:12
MADRID, Spain - Carla Suárez Navarro and Samantha Stosur will look to put past performances behind them when they square off with Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, respectively, in third round action at the Mutua Madrid Open.
Thursday, Third Round
 Serena Williams (USA) vs.  Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP)
Head-to-head: Williams leads 3-0
Coming into her third round clash with Carla Suárez Navarro at 649 career match wins, Serena Williams has to like her chances to become the 11th player with at least 650 professional match wins after Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Steffi Graf, Virginia Wade, Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario, Lindsay Davenport, Conchita Martínez, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Billie Jean King and Venus Williams, who is just ahead of her sister at 651. She has never lost more than three games in a set against Suárez Navarro, and the last time they played in last year's US Open quarterfinals she did not surrender a game in either set.
Suárez Navarro should have a bit more confidence this time, though, as she captured her first WTA title last week in Oeiras and has a WTA-leading 28 match wins this year. She is aiming to surpass her best career win, which came over No.3 Svetlana Kuznetsova at Indian Wells in 2010.
Both players have won their first two matches in Madrid in straight sets, though Williams' were more one-sided. She is looking for her 15th straight match win in Madrid, where she is the two-time defending champion. She is also in pursuit of her 60th WTA title.
 Li Na (CHN #2) vs.  Sloane Stephens (USA #17)
Head-to-head: first meeting
Li Na has not shown rust in competing in her first event since Miami and her first clay court tournament of the season, winning her first two Madrid matches in straight sets to improve to 23-3 in 2014 and putting behind her memories of losing her opener here last year.
Sloane Stephens has been victorious in two three-setters, gaining some much-needed confidence after having lost four of five matches coming into Madrid. A win would put her into her second quarterfinal of the season after Indian Wells. It also would be the best win of her career, as her previous two Top 5 wins came over No.3 Serena Williams at the 2013 Australian Open and over No.3 Maria Sharapova at Cincinnati in 2013.
 Maria Sharapova (RUS #9) vs. Samantha Stosur (AUS #19)
Head-to-head: Sharapova leads 12-2
The WTA's active leader in clay court win percentage, Sharapova, looks for her 20th win of the season against fellow former Grand Slam champion Samantha Stosur. Last year's Madrid runner-up almost didn't make it to the third round, as she trailed 4-1 in the third set against Christina McHale in her last match before rallying. Sharapova has dominated her head-to-head with Stosur, at one point winning nine straight. However, their series has tightened recently, with Stosur winning two of the past five.
Also on court...
No.3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska plays Roberta Vinci, No.4 seed Simona Halep takes on No.15 seed Sabine Lisicki, No.5 seed Petra Kvitova squares off with fellow Czech Lucie Safarova and No.11 seed Ana Ivanovic seeks to improve to 7-0 against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Read more details and stats about Thursday's match-ups in our Match Notes.