(5) Maria Sharapova vs (26) Sabine Lisicki
Friday’s match of the day will be a hard-hitting affair when fifth seed Maria Sharapova takes on Sabine Lisicki for a spot in the fourth round at Flushing Meadows.
Maria Sharapova suffered an almighty scare on Tuesday, dropping the first set to Romanian Alexandra Dulgheru. Sharapova looked uncomfortable during the first set and a half, clearly struggling to find any kind of rhythm in difficult conditions on Arthur Ashe Stadium. As so often is the case, Maria rallied to force the match into a decider. The fifth seed was always in control of the deciding set as Dulgheru clearly began to tire. Maria capitalised to win the third set 6-2. Maria will need to raise her level in the third round when she comes up against the dangerous Sabine Lisicki.
Lisicki has been relatively untroubled in her opening two matches, accounting for Abanda and Brengle in straight sets. Sabine has only ever reached the second week at Flushing Meadows on one previous occasion, which was back in 2011. After a disappointing start to the season, Sabine’s results are gradually getting better; she is due for a big victory.
Maria has a convincing 5-1 head to head record over the German. Lisicki’s only victory over Maria came on her beloved courts of Wimbledon. Their most recent encounter took place in Madrid last year, Maria came out on top 6-2 7-5. Past results are kind of irrelevant in a match up like this, anything can happen here. Maria is not in the greatest form at the moment, the fast courts at Flushing Meadows will suit Sabine. The German is certainly capable of causing an upset here however I suspect Maria’s competitive edge will get her over line once again.
Prediction: Maria Sharapova to defeat Sabine Lisicki in three sets