Madrid - World No 1 Serena Williams cruised into the Madrid Open quarter-finals as she
dismantled 13th seed Maria Kirilenko 6-3, 6-1 in just an hour and four minutes
The American, who is yet to be beaten in eight matches on clay this season,
held a perfect 6-0 head-to-head record with the Russian before the match and
never looked in danger of extending that streak to seven out of seven.
Williams didn't even face a break point during the match as she broke at 3-3
to move ahead and then again in the final game of the first set.
The second was even more straight forward for the 15-time Grand Slam champion
as she raced into a 5-0 lead and then served out in style to book her place in
the quarters where she will face Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues.
World No 2 Maria Sharapova also continued her stroll into the quarter-finals
without even losing a set so far as she overcame Sabine Lisicki 6-2, 7-5.
The Russian, who could overtake Williams at the top of the rankings should
she win the title this week, broke the Lisicki serve four times to prevail in a
disjointed opening set.
Serve was more dominant in the second set with both players exchanging just
the one break early on before Sharapova secured a crucial second break at 5-5
and served it out to take her place in the last eight.
And the reigning French Open champion believes her game on the clay is
rounding into shape nicely as she prepares to begin the defence of her title
later this month.
"I think when you win a Grand Slam on a surface, it would be pretty mean of
me to say that I'm not comfortable on the surface," she told a press conference
"It took me many years to get to the level of where I am today. It certainly
didn't happen overnight.
" I worked extremely hard on getting stronger and recovering better, moving
better on the court, giving myself a better position on the court, especially
after being on the defensive and trying to play aggressively as I always do on
"Winning the French Open was an incredible memory and one that I'll have for
the rest of my life.
"Sometimes when you feel like you have everything or you won everything, it
can be pretty easy to just say, why do I need it again? But I find a lot
motivation in going back and trying to defend my title.
"Over the years, it's brought me a lot of great memories and a lot of tough
ones. I did win last year but years before I had tough losses there as
well."Results from the sixth day of the ATP Madrid Masters and WTA Madrid Open on Thursday (x denotes seeding):
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA x7) bt Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
Tomas Berdych (CZE x6) bt Kevin Anderson (RSA) 7-6 (7/5), 7-5
Rafael Nadal (ESP x5) bt Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) 6-2, 6-3
Pablo Andujar (ESP) bt Daniel Gimeno (ESP) 5-5 - retired
Kei Nishikori (JPN x14) bt Roger Federer (SUI x2) 6-4, 1-6, 6-2
David Ferrer (ESP x4) bt Tommy Haas (GER x13) 7-5, 4-6, 6-4
Third roundAnabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) bt Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) - walkover
Serena Williams (USA x1) bt Maria Kirilenko (RUS x13) 6-3, 6-1
Kaia Kanepi (EST) bt Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 6-3, 6-4
Maria Sharapova (RUS x2) bt Sabine Lisicki (GER) 6-2, 7-5
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) bt Marion Bartoli (FRA x14) 6-3, 6-2