Just three days after celebrating her 27th birthday, as reported by E! Online on April 21, Maria Sharapova is set to take on Lucie Safarova in the opening round of the 2014 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany. The fifth meeting between the Russian and the Czech will be streaming live online beginning at 12:30 p.m. EST (11:30 a.m. CST/10:30 a.m. MST/9:30 a.m. PST) on the following websites: Ran.de and/or Tennis.de.
The red clay at the indoor Porsche Arena will be the site for this world-class tennis matchup. It’s certainly worth noting that, not only is this the oldest women’s indoor tennis tournament in Europe, but also that the (singles) champion will receive prize money as well as a brand new Porsche 911 Carrera sports car.
For sixth-seeded Maria Sharapova, the former world No.1 will be trying to win her third-straight Porsche Tennis Grand Prix title this year. The Russian beauty put herself in position to complete the hat-trick by defeating Victoria Azarenka in 2012 and Li Na in last year’s finals.
Standing in her way first is Lucie Safarova, a 27-year-old from the Czech Republic who’s currently ranked 26th in the WTA World Rankings. And although she’s only 1-3 in her career against Sharapova, the southpaw comes in feeling confident about her chances considering her only victory came on a clay-court surface.
However, Safarova will have to break a three-match skid in order to get it done, and will have to battle the pro “Masha” crowd in the process. Today’s meeting, also previewed on an April 22 SGT report, marks the second one of the 2014 tennis season, as Sharapova defeated Safarova last month’s at the Sony Open in Miami, Fla. in three sets (6-4, 6-7, 6-2).
According to 2014 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix oddsmakers, Maria Sharapova comes in as a -325 betting favorite to defeat Lucie Safarova [+260] for a fourth consecutive time. The WTA Stuttgart defending champion will be trying to turn her season around by duplicating last year’s effort, when they defeated her Czech counterpart in the Round of 16 by a final score of 6-4 6-7, 6-3.
Can “Masha” turn her season around by successfully defending her WTA Stuttgart tennis crown? Don’t miss what is sure to be a very exciting opening-round clash between two of the world’s best this afternoon. Watch Maria Sharapova begin her quest for a third-straight Porsche Tennis Grand Prix championship by taking on Lucie Safarova in Stuttgart. Watch the free live streaming feed of this match by clicking on the links provided above, and be sure and leave your predictions for this clash in the comments section below.