Madrid Open 2013: Maria Sharapova eyes rare win against Serena Williams
Madrid Open 2013: Maria Sharapova hopes to end her nine-year winless run against Serena Williams in Sunday's final
Maria Sharapova believes she is in a good position to end her winless run against Serena Williams and become world No1 when the pair meet in Sunday’s Madrid Open final.
The Russian booked her place in the showpiece courtesy of a 6-4 6-3 victory over Laura Robson’s conqueror Ana Ivanavic, with the reigning French Open champion securing her 500th win on the WTA circuit.
The 26-year-old can take back the world No1 ranking with victory over Williams, but the second seed acknowledged it will be a difficult final as she looks to secure her first win against the American since 2004.
“It’s always tough against her,” Sharapova said.
“I haven’t had a win against her in a long time, but the great thing is that I’m really setting myself up in a position where I can try to change that around.
“I thought I really well against her in Miami for the first set and a half – obviously that’s not enough, but the goal is to keep that level for the whole match this time and open up my chances, take my opportunities.
“It’s been a while since we played on a clay court, too, and every match is different.”
Sharapova is the 36th player to reach 500 career wins with only eight still active – Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Tamarine Tanasugarn, Nadia Petrova, Francesca Schiavone, Jelena Jankovic and Flavia Pennetta.
“That number is pretty significant,” Sharapova added. “I’m pretty proud of that.”