After scoring her 500th career win in the semifinals of Madrid over Ana Ivanovic, Maria Sharapova looks ahead to playing Serena Williams in the final, whom she hasn’t beaten since 2004 and is 2-12 against. It is Williams’ first appearance in a red-clay final she since won the 2002 French Open, however she has only competed in 20 red-clay tournaments since then. Should Sharapova win, she would also take No.1 ranking away from the defending champion (Madrid was played on blue clay last year).
“I thought I played really well at a good level for her in Miami for the first set and a half,” Sharapova told reporters. “That’s not enough. Obviously the goal is to keep that level for the whole match and to open up my opportunities, to take my opportunities. This is her third or fourth final in a row, so she’s been playing really well.
“Of course it’s always tough against her. I haven’t had a win against her in a long time. But the great thing is that I’m setting myself up in a position where I can try to change that around.”
Sharapova added that she won’t be playing mixed doubles in the future with her boyfriend, Grigor Dimitrov.
“Last time I played mixed doubles was about like I would say 10 years ago, she said. “Didn’t go too well. Decided that’s just not my thing.”