Serena, Sharapova ease into Madrid quarters|
Madrid, Spain (Sports Network) - Top seeds Serena Williams and Maria
Sharapova were a pair of straight-set third-round winners Thursday at the $4
million Madrid Open, a clay-court French Open tune-up.
The defending champion and world No. 1 Williams clobbered 13th-seeded Russian
Maria Kirilenko 6-3, 6-1 in 64 minutes, while the reigning French Open
titlist, recent Stuttgart champ and former top-ranked Sharapova handled German
Sabine Lisicki 6-2, 7-5 in 1 hour, 42 minutes on Day 6 at The Magic Box.
"I just felt really relaxed, like I was taking my time," Williams said after
Williams beat Victoria Azarenka in last year's marquee finale here in the
Sharapova avenged a Wimbledon defeat from last year by topping Lisicki on
"She is the kind of opponent that plays extremely well against the top
players," Sharapova said.
Sharapova's quarterfinal opponent will be Estonian slugger Kaia Kanepi, who
dismissed Slovakian veteran and wild card Daniela Hantuchova, 6-3, 6-4.
Seventh-seeded 2012 French Open runner-up Sara Errani advanced by beating
American Varvara Lepchenko 7-5, 6-3, while Russian Ekaterina Makarova pulled
off an upset by dousing 14th-seeded former Wimbledon runner-up Marion Bartoli
of France 6-3, 6-2.
Also on Thursday, Spanish wild card Anabel Medina Garrigues reached the
quarters via walkover when Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova pulled out of the
draw. Medina Garrigues should have her hands full with the Wimbledon and U.S.
Open champion Williams on Friday.
Two other quarterfinals will pit sixth-seeded German Angelique Kerber against
16th-seeded former world No. 1 and former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic of
Serbia and the gritty Italian Errani versus Makarova.
05/09 16:25:37 ET