Wimbledon 2014: Maria Sharapova eyes Serena Williams after breezing through

The Russian beat Switzerland's Timea Bacsinszky 6-2 6-1 today

Maria Sharapova has confirmed she wants a crack at nemesis Serena Williams in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

The Russian and the American have individually carried women's tennis to new heights over the last decade, but the rivalry has been overwhelmingly dominated by Williams, rather than becoming the anticipated tug of war for supremacy.

Sharapova last overcame Williams in the final of the 2004 Tour Championships, four months after first achieving the feat as a 17-year-old to land the Wimbledon title.

It has been all Williams ever since, posting 15 straight victories over Sharapova and dropping just three sets in the process.

With Williams the top seed and Sharapova number five, the tournament draw threw up the tantalising prospect of the pair meeting in the last eight, and they remained on collision course following crushing wins in the second round on Thursday.

Sharapova breezed by Switzerland's Timea Bacsinszky, easing to a 6-2 6-1 victory, while Williams won 6-1 6-1 against South African Chanelle Scheepers.

"I haven't had a chance to watch too many of her matches," Sharapova said. "But it doesn't really matter. She's been here. She's done it many, many times.

"If we do get to the stage of playing against each other, first of all, I'll be happy to be in that stage, in the quarter-final stage, facing against her on one of the courts.

"We've played each other many times. I haven't had the best results against her. I always look forward to that opportunity and the challenge to play against the best, try something a little bit different to try to get a win out there."

Fresh from winning the French Open, where Williams suffered a second-round loss, Sharapova may feel the time is right to halt Serena's imperious run in their duels.

Yet Williams says she has plenty left in the locker for the later rounds.

"I don't want to feel great necessarily right now because hopefully I have several more matches I can play," Williams said. "But the goal for me is just to feel a little better every day."

 

The 32-year-old may need to find a higher gear in the third round, with her next opponent having already registered a victory over Williams this year.

France's Alize Cornet beat Williams in the Dubai semi-finals in February, and set up another shot at the 17-time grand slam winner by fending off Czech Petra Cetkovska 6-4 5-7 6-3.

Canadian 13th seed Eugenie Bouchard has reached the semi-finals of both the Australian Open and French Open already this year, and is aiming to take that next step forward in her career by getting to a major final. The 20-year-old proved too strong for Spaniard Silvia Soler Espinosa, posting a 7-5 6-1 win.

"I do like grass a little bit more I think. When I'm not slipping and falling, I enjoy it," Bouchard said.

"I think it suits my game and it rewards a player who takes it early and tries to move forward. Every time I go to the net, I have a pretty good ratio of success. I'm trying to do that more and more. I think that will, you know, help me perform well on grass over the years."

Andrea Petkovic, the 20th seed from Germany, stands in Bouchard's way of making further progress after a 6-4 3-6 6-1 victory against Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu.

Other seeded winners on Thursday included Ana Ivanovic, last year's runner-up Sabine Lisicki and Kirsten Flipkens, but there was a casualty too as 15th seed Carla Suarez Navarro bowed out, the Spaniard beaten 7-6 (14/12) 5-7 6-2 by Kazakh player Zarina Diyas.

Angelique Kerber ended British hopes in the women's singles by resisting Heather Watson on Centre Court, posting a 6-2 5-7 6-1 win, and former finalist Vera Zvonareva followed up her toughed-out triumph over Tara Moore by knocking out Croatian Donna Vekic, who turns 18 on Saturday, in straight sets.

PA

Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
News
people
News
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the iWatch for you? Well, it depends if you want for the fitness tech, or the style
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own