In the third round of the Mutua Madrid Open we had a clash of two former world No.1s – Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki. The more recent No.1, sixth seed Wozniacki, was the first to take charge, racing through the first set 6-1 in 31 minutes, making three breaks of Williams’ serve. In the second set the match took a different path – the seed No.9 Williams held her serve until the end, losing just six points in eight service games and breaking Wozniacki two times in each remaining set to win 1-6 6-3 6-2 for a place in the quarterfinals.
Williams’ next challenge will be another former No.1, second seed Maria Sharapova, who was granted an easy pass to the quarterfinals when Lucie Safarova withdrew with illness. Williams leads Sharapova 7-2 in head-to-head record, including 1-0 on clay, but Sharapova has very recently shown her claycourt skills by winning the Premier-level Stuttgart title (if the claycourt record is even relevant for this blue clay!).
Also through to Madrid quarterfinals is confident qualifier Lucie Hradecka, the conqueror of Petra Kvitova in the previous round, who today defeated Ekaterina Makarova 6-2 7-6(5). Fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska also played her third round this Thursday and beat Roberta Vinci 7-6(1) 6-4. (photo: © Neal Trousdale)