Serena, Sharapova ease into Madrid Open quarters

Williams didn’t even face a break point during the match as she steamrollered the Russian, dropping only one more game from 3-3 in the first set.

Sharapova in full flight in Madrid. Pic/AFP

The American is unbeaten on clay in eight matches so far this season, but after a similarly positive start to last season on the clay was followed by shocking loss in the first round of the French Open. “I just felt really relaxed today. I felt like I was just taking my time so hopefully I can keep calm and relaxed,” said Serena.

World No 2 Maria Sharapova, who has yet to drop a set, continued her stroll into the quarter-finals as she overcame Sabine Lisicki 6-2, 7-5. The Russian, who could overtake Williams at the top of the rankings should she win the title this week, broke the German’s serve four times to prevail in a disjointed opening set.

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