Andy Murray bites the dust, Sharapova, Nadal and Serena advance at Madrid
Sharapova dumps Stosur to move into last eight; Nadal, Serena advance, but Murray bites the dust
Madrid: Four-time Grand Slam title winner Maria Sharapova moved into the last eight of the Madrid Open yesterday with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Australian Samantha Stosur.
Maria Sharapova celebrates a point against Samantha Stosur yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
Sharapova's big serving was the key as she was broken just once all afternoon to seal her 13th win over Stosur in 15 meetings and set up an intriguing quarter-final against world number two Li Na.
Meanwhile, Wimbledon champion Andy Murray was dumped out of the Madrid Masters at the third round stage yesterday 6-3, 6-2 by Santiago Giraldo.
Murray was competing for the first time in a month in the Spanish capital and was powerless to stop the in-form Colombian, who reached the final of the Barcelona Open two weeks ago, as he sealed victory in just over an hour to set up a quarter-final meeting with Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut.
Nadal in fine form
Earlier, World No 1 Rafael Nadal remained on course to retain his Madrid Masters title with a comfortable 6-1, 6-4 win over Finland's Jarkko Nieminen.
Nadal had come into the tournament looking to dispel doubts after suffering shock defeats to David Ferrer and Nicolas Almagro in the quarter-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters and the Barcelona Open respectively.
However, he looked in fine form as he took nine of the opening 10 games to move 6-1, 3-0 in front.
Nieminen then briefly threatened a comeback as he broke back and even had break points at 4-4 in the second set, but Nadal held on before sealing victory when the world number 57 fired long in the next game.
"I am happy because I think until 3-0 in the second set I played the best I have on clay since I started in Monte Carlo," said Nadal.
"It's just a question of finding my rhythm, my level of play and I am doing that little by little. Tomorrow will be another tough match and I need to prepare well for that.
"I did what I needed to do today and I just need to find that little bit more consistency which I lost after 3-0 in the second set."
Next up for the 13-time Grand Slam champion is a meeting with sixth seed Tomas Berdych after the Czech came through in three sets against Bulgarian 12th seed Grigor Dimitrov 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Serena breezes through
Serena Williams also maintained her quest for a third consecutive Madrid Open title with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro.