We’re having Top 2 WTA players in the final of the Mutua Madrid Open and the No.1 ranking is on the line – if Maria Sharapova wins, she will take the prestigious position from Serena Williams. Moreover, Sharapova is playing the 50th final of her career, in the previous 49 her record was 29-20, while Serena is looking for her 50th title in her 66th final.
A day after surviving Anabel Medina Garrigues in the quarterfinals, Serena won a tight 7-5 6-2 two-setter against Sara Errani, who was twice a break up in the first set, and will now try to become the tenth player in history to win 50 WTA titles, and the only active player to do so. In the following semifinal, Sharapova secured a 6-4 6-3 victory over Ana Ivanovic by winning a close first set and overcoming Ivanovic’s initial 2-0 lead in the second set. It’s not just any win for the Russian, it’s her 500th career win and only seven other active players have achieved the feat, including of course Serena Williams, who leads Sharapova 12-2 in the head-to-head stats, not having lost to her since 2004. (photos: © Neal Trousdale)