With a title in 2014 and two more runners-up finishes this year, 21-year old Caroline Garcia has established herself as a rising star on the WTA Tour. She gave defending champion Maria Sharapova all she could handle on day 5 of the 2015 Mutua Madrid Open before Masha finally edged out a 6-2 4-6 7-5 victory. The win sets up a marquee quarterfinal showdown between Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki. Sunshine had a relatively routine victory over Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-3 6-2. Masha leads the head to head series 5-4 over Wozniacki, but Caro has won their last two meetings, both times in three sets. Speaking of three sets, it was a day full of matches going down to the wire. I usually wait until the semis or the final to highlight Serena, since there is a strong likelihood that she will be there late in a tournament. But I have to say a word on her 7-6 (5) 3-6 7-6 (1) victory over Victoria Azarenka. In fact, I have to heap praise on both Serena and Vika. What a match! It was made all the more dramatic by Serena fighting off three match points to come back to win. That’s clutch. That’s Serena.
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1 SERENA WILLIAMS (won 7-6 (5) 3-6 7-6 (1) vs Victoria Azarenka)
3 MARIA SHARAPOVA (won 6-2 4-6 7-5 vs Caroline Garcia)
4 PETRA KVITOVA (won 6-1 6-4 vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova)
5 CAROLINE WOZNIACKI (won 6-3 6-2 vs 9 Agnieszka Radwanska)
7 ANA IVANOVIC (lost 5-7 6-1 4-6 vs 10 Carla Suarez Navarro)