In 2008, Sharapova reclaimed the world’s number one singles ranking before a shoulder surgery would keep her off the WTA Tour for nine months.
The 23 year old Sharapova since has struggled with her serve and shoulder at times. But the Russian nevertheless remains the world’s top female athlete money earner for several years running.
Sharapova’s overwhelmingly powerful baseline game could continue to prove troublesome for the athletic all-court game of Stosur as could the windy Miami conditions.
The 26 year old Stosur, possibly best known for her finalist finish at last year’s French Open and for her attacking volleys and piercing serve, will look to minimize her errors and rush Sharapova into difficult positions on the court.
Today’s winner could face the unseeded Shuai Peng of China in the quarterfinals and the top ranked Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in the semifinals.
At her prior WTA Tour tournament earlier this month at Indian Wells, Sharapova defeated Peng in 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 in the quarterfinals before turning in an error-filled semifinal performance to lose to the incredibly consistent Wozniacki 6-1, 6-2.