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WTA Indian Wells 2013: Maria Sharapova vs. Francesca Schiavone 2nd Round Preview

By Pawan Atri    + Follow

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Keywords: BNP Paribas Open | Na-Li | Francesca-Schiavone | Serena-Williams | Maria-Sharapova | Victoria-Azarenka
WTA Indian Wells 2013: Maria Sharapova vs. Francesca Schiavone 2nd Round Preview
It is the clash of the titans in the desert of California as the reigning French Open champion Maria Sharapova takes on the 2010 winner of the same Major Francesca Schiavone in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open on Friday. The world no.3 has shown in recent times that she can be ruthless against the challengers that are outside the top-10 and is expected to follow a similar path versus the veteran today.

Sharapova has been in imperious form since the Olympics and if there haven’t been two ladies with names of Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka, then she would have certainly hoisted a couple of more trophies by now. But, then she keeps on bumping into the five time Wimbledon holder and as we all know the American is like a lioness and Maria is merely a sitting duck whenever the two are forced to battle one another.

The Florida resident began her 2013 campaign down under by enthralling her fans by some of the finest tennis ever seen on a rectangular arena as she raced to the semifinals and in that process lost only nine games – the least by a competitor till that stage. Yet, she was absolutely dismantled in the last 4 by the Chinese Na Li as she failed to deliver those heavy ground-strokes that she is renowned for. Afterwards, at the Qatar Total Open it was the 15 times Slam captor that once again denied her a final berth as the United States citizen trounced her for the 10th time in succession.

On the other hand Schiavone had been struggling to reignite the kind of form that made her the first Italian Grand Slam winner. The former world no.4 in the zone act’s have long vanished and it is the erratic, lackluster version of her that can be watched at the moment. However, she fixed-up her date with the lanky beauty after overwhelming her countrywoman Flavia Pennetta in round one and with that she must have gained some sort of confidence.   

On being asked about her mouthwatering duel with the darling of the cameras Schiavone said. “I think to play against Sharapova is a good chance to go up with my level. When you play with the top player, you play high level or you lose. It will be a good opportunity for me.”

Maria and the 32 year old have squared-off against each other thrice before on the women’s tour and it is the diva that has come out on top of the Milan native on all those three occasions. And although, the pair hasn’t met since 2009 when the second seed defeated her rival on the hard-courts of Tokyo, the four times Grand Slam champion’s serene touch will be able to take her over the finish line without too much trouble.

Pick: Sharapova in two.

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