Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Mattek-Sands continue to shine on caly
Schiavone, Italy's highest-ranked player in WTA history and the No.2 seed this week, rebounded from an early loss in Madrid with a routine 6-3 6-1 win over American qualifier Christina McHale. McHale, who took out one of the hottest players of the year in the first round - China's Peng Shuai - was no match for the all-court attack of Schiavone, who lost 12 points in eight service games.
At night, No.7 seed Sharapova had an even more comprehensive victory, beating Ekaterina Makarova, 6-1 6-1. Last week Makarova pushed Sharapova to three sets in the same round of Madrid, but this time there were no cracks whatsoever in Sharapova's game, as she won almost exactly twice as many points as Makarova (51 to 26) and cruised past her countrywoman in 54 minutes.
Mattek-Sands beat No.15 seed Flavia Pennetta, 6-4 4-6 6-3, just her second win in seven career meetings with the Italian. "Flavia's a big favorite here - it was almost like a Fed Cup match. I hit a blazing winner and there was silence," Mattek-Sands said. "I had my crew cheering for me though. Obviously you want people to cheer for you but it's Italy, it's understandable. I don't mind. Flavia's such a tough competitor, too - it just came down to a break of serve today."
Mattek-Sands reached the quarterfinals of Madrid last week, upsetting former French Open champions Ana Ivanovic and Schiavone along the way. "I'm a dirtballer now," she said. "I'm still playing my game, aggressive on the red clay. They say Americans don't do well on clay - I'm trying to prove them wrong."
Next for Mattek-Sands is Slovakia-born Australian Jarmila Gajdosova. "She smacks the ball hard. I lost to her in Hobart this year, but I'm ready. I'll get some protein and have a good night's sleep tonight and I'll be ready tomorrow."
Photography - LIFE