Friday, 27 April 2012

Barthel tests Azarenka, Sharapova wins in Stuttgart

Maria Sharapova
The quarter-finals in Stuttgart promised a lot and completely lived up to their billing with a series of thrilling encounters.  Victoria Azarenka held off a barrage of winners from Mona Barthel to record a 6-4 6-7 7-5 victory in 2 hours and 48 minutes.  Barthel hit a staggering 64 winners but still ended up on the losing side after a poor final game in which she double faulted on match point.  Barthel has once again shown that she is a force to be reckoned with as she showed her fighting spirit to rescue numerous deficits from Azarenka, who did remarkably well to finally see off the young German.  Barthel still has many areas of her game to work on; hopefully her mental game will continue to improve with more experience on the tour.  Let's not forget that this Barthel's first year of playing WTA tour events week in, week out.  Azarenka will play Agnieszka Radwanska once more after she came back from a set down to defeat Li Na, 3-6 6-2 6-3.

Maria Sharapova booked her place in the semi-finals after saving a match point in a 3 hour and 1 minute, 6-7 7-6 7-5 epic against Sam Stosur.  The first set was both tense and tight, but Stosur deservedly edged it.  Sharapova worked herself into the match and began to play extremely well from the end of the second set as she broke Stosur's serve when she served for the match at 7-6 5-4.  The final set was of a very high quality and Stosur did remarkably well to stick with Sharapova as long as she did but in the end, some stellar serving and superb shot making got the Russian over the finish line.  Sharapova will play the winner of Petra Kvitova and Angelique Kerber, who have a very late start after the epic matches before.  We have seen two of the best matches in 2012 today... can Kvitova and Kerber make it a third? I am off to watch it :-)


  1. Hey, I like what I am seeing from Masha these days - she may have another slam in her after all.

  2. I was really impressed with Sharapova yesterday for just her second match on clay this year. Her movement on this surface has come on leaps and bounds and I think she will have a good shot at Roland Garros!