With an opportunity to reclaim the No. 1 ranking, there is a lot at stake for the Russian Maria Sharapova at the 2013 Madrid Open. The second-seeded Russian takes on little known Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania in her opening match today. Sharapova is expected to win this duel in straight sets.
World No. 2 Maria Sharapova is less than 900 points away from reclaiming the No. 1 ranking from Serena Williams. And, this one factor has made this year’s Madrid Open more interesting. The second-seeded Russian Maria Sharapova will take on the Romanian qualifier Alexandra Dulgheru in her opening match here in Madrid. Sharapova is expected to win this encounter in straight sets.
While interacting with press in Madrid, Sharapova tried to play-down this possibility of wresting back the numero-uno ranking from Serena Williams. The Russian is coming off title victory in Stuttgart, she asserted, “I don’t want to think about it too much. It depends also on the other players. I can only control what is in my hands and try not to worry about it too much.” When questioned about the last year’s blue-clay experiment, the Russian said, “I think we all know that last year was a very hopeful experiment and it didn’t turn out so well for the tournament or for the players. I think everyone kind of learned their lesson and we’re back to normal now. It feels pretty good. I think it’s quite heavy right.”The twenty six year old Russian has a stellar 23-3 win-loss record for the season so far and she has already claimed two titles this season and bidding for her 30th career title.
Sharapova’s opponent is twenty three year old Alexandra Dulgheru, who is currently ranked as World No. 334 in the WTA Rankings. The Romanian has a decent 12-5 win-loss record for the season and she is bidding for her third career title. In head-to-head, the Russian leads with 1-0. Last time they met in Miami quarterfinals in 2011, where the Russian rallied past Dulgheru in three testing sets.