Women's Singles: Quarterfinals
Maria Sharapova (RUS)  vs. Serena Williams (USA) 
Sharapova claimed her first career claycourt title last week at Amelia Island, Florida. In 2002 Williams won claycourt titles at
Rome and at the French Open.
Head to head Williams leads Sharapova 4-2, winning their last meeting 6-1, 6-1 at Miami, Florida last year. Williams destroyed
Sharapova in their last two matches winning also last year at the Australian Open final 6-1, 6-2. Sharapova; however, has it appears
solved her poor serving problems which hurt her game in the last year and a half due in part to a shoulder injury. Sharapova changed
her service motion and showcased extreme power and consistency in Melbourne this year in January to take her third grand slam title
at the Australian Open.
Sharapova and Williams both this year have posted outstanding won/loss WTA Tour records. Sharapova is 22-1 while Williams is 16-1.
Both players will bring powerful groundstrokes to the court Friday, but I think Williams is a far better defensive player than
Sharapova. Although Williams has not needed to play much defensive at all in her last two matches against Sharapova, she I think will
come under fire Friday. If Williams can play good defense and then also keep her offensive groundstrokes inside the court she will
be very tough to beat.
Sharapova will not be able to play effective defense due to her mostly one note offensive game. Sharapova does not really have a Plan B,
which is why I think even if Williams loses a set, she will then simply change tactics to pull out the match.
ESPN2 is scheduled to televise the match live at 12:00pm-1:30pm CST USA.