Maria Sharapova vs Carla Suarez Navarro, Brisbane QF Preview

(1) Maria Sharapova vs (7) Carla Suarez Navarro

Top seed Maria Sharapova made a massive statement in her opening match of the season. After receiving a bye through to the second round, Maria absolutely crushed Yaroslava Shvedova 6-0 6-1.

Maria struck the ball cleanly from start to finish in what was an extremely impressive first up performance. Maria was challenged late in the match but she refused to let Yaroslava into the match, raising her level at critical stages in the second set.


Carla Suarez Navarro's passage through to the Quarter-finals in Brisbane has been far less straightforward. The Spaniard has twice been forced to fight back from a set down to eventually prevail in a deciding set. Carla only just snuck past Lucic-Baroni in the second round, fighting hard for a 5-7 6-3 6-4 victory.

Maria has a 2-1 H2H record over the Spaniard. Carla famously upset the Russian 6-2 4-6 6-2 at Rogers Cup last year, frustrating Maria with outrageous defence. Maria avenged that loss with a 6-1 7-6 victory in Beijing.

There is no doubt that Carla has the game to frustrate Maria if the Russian is not at her best. However given Maria's extremely impressive first up performance it's hard to see Carla seriously challenging Maria here.

Prediction: Maria Sharapova to defeat Carla Suarez Navarro in straight sets

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