Madrid - World No 2 Maria Sharapova kept her impressive form at the Madrid
Open going as she overcame Sabine Lisicki 6-2, 7-5 to book her place in
The Russian is yet to drop a set in the
Spanish capital this week and took control early on, breaking 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, before serving out to take her place in the last eight.
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 on Thursday.
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 quicker surfaces.
"Winning the French Open was an incredible memory and one that I'll have for the rest of my life.
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.
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.
"So it brings back a lot memories, but certainly the best one and the sweetest was last year."