Maria Sharapova has been open about wanting to face Serena Williams this summer, a possibility at the 2011 Bank of the West Classic at Stanford. Masha almost didn’t survive her first match. After receiving a first round bye, and a day after Serena vaporized Anastasia Rodionova 6-0 6-0, Masha was pushed to the edge by Daniela Hantuchova, needing to come back from 0-2 down in the third set to finally prevail, 6-2 2-6 6-4. It was starting to look bleak for Masha after Daniela, down 1-2 in the second set, won 7 straight games to take the second set and go up 2-0 in the third. Daniela has big wins over top players this year, including Caroline Wozniacki at Roland Garros and Li Na at Eastbourne, but Masha was able to pull her game together and squeeze by into the third round. With all due respect to Maria Kirilenko, just about everybody except Kirilenko fans are hoping for Serena to win her match against Kirilenko to set up probably the marquee match of the tournament between Masha and Serena.
While a lot of eyes are focused on what is developing with a possible Masha-Serena match, let’s not forget about the woman who beat Serena at Wimbledon, Marion Bartoli. Avenging a loss in Quebec last year, Marion beat rising Canadian star, 6-4 6-3. Marion won this title in 2009 and reached the final in 2008.
“I love this tournament. It’s a great place for me to start playing again. I felt great today. I lost to Rebecca last year in Québec, so it was good for me to take revenge today. I can still improve some parts of my game here and there, but overall I’m happy with the way I played.”- Marion Bartoli
Singles – Second Round
(2) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 62 26 64
(3) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. Rebecca Marino (CAN) 64 63
(5) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. Chang Kai-Chen (TPE) 64 36 60
(8/WC) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. Christina McHale (USA) 64 26 63