The second 2014 Madrid Open quarterfinal of the day features an intriguing matchup between Maria Sharapova and Li Na. The 15th meeting between these Grand Slam champs is scheduled for 7 a.m. ET following the conclusion of the TV (Tennis Channel) and live streaming (ESPN3) match between Serena Williams and Petra Kvitova.
Sharapova needed just 90 minutes to dispose of unseeded Australian Samantha Stosur in straight sets, this according to MariaSharapova.com on May 8, 2014. The former world No.1 advanced to the final eight by a score of 6-4, 6-3, and improved her record to 13-2 over the world’s No.19th ranked player.
Meanwhile, after a slow start, the reigning Australian Open champion had to dig deep in order to avoid an upset at the hands of 16th-seeded American Sloane Stephens. According to a May 8 Fox News report, Li Na came roaring back after dropping the opener (2-6), winning the final two stanzas in impressive (6-3, 6-2) fashion.
Friday morning’s quarterfinal will be the fourth time that Sharapova and Li meet on this surface. Much like her overall head-to-head series record (9-5) indicates, “Masha” has had successful against her Chinese counterpart on clay courts (3-1).
The last time they met dates back last year’s Porsche Tennis Grand Prix final in Stuttgart, Germany. Seemingly indestructible at this event and venue, the Russian beauty prevailed in straight sets over Li, 6-4, 6-3.
Given her past dominance on clay in this particular matchup, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that last year’s Madrid Open runner-up is expected to advance to the semifinals. Las Vegas’ odds show Maria Sharapova as a -175 favorite against Li Na, who’s a +150 tennis underdog.
Finally, the OVER/UNDER is set at a combined total of 22 games, and alternate betting spreads for this quarterfinal go as follows: Maria Sharapova -3 [-108] vs. +3 [-108]. Who will prevail in what oddsmakers expect to be a highly contested affair between two of the world’s best players?
Don’t miss the 15th clash between eighth-seed Maria Sharapova and the No.2 player in the tournament Li Na on Friday morning at approximately 7 a.m. ET (6 a.m. CT/5 a.m. MT/4 a.m. PT). Keep in mind that this match will get underway following the conclusion of Serena vs. Kvitova, will be televised on Tennis Channel (DirecTV channel 217) and streaming live and free at ESPN3 (click on Internet links above).