Sharapova ousted Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 Wednesday night at the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford University.
Maria and Serena have a long rivalry and have played each other eight times with Serena leading 6-2 overall and 5-0 in their last five matches. "Rivalries are exciting for me and the sport" states Maria. She continues to say "I don't have a great record against her, and I would love to change that."
Maria is still marred by inconsistent play and coaching and equipment changes made at the beginning of this year. She replaced her longtime coach and father Yuri Sharapov with Thomas Hogstedt.
Her next match against either Williams or Kirilenko will determine how effective these changes have been.
So far this year, Maria has shown flashes of brilliance in her play. Couple this with her increase in confidence and a good dash of consistency, and we might just see the champion we have all longed for in Maria.
Maria states, "I've had to make a lot of tough choices in the last year, but I'm going in the right direction." "It's still about improving the little things to get more consistent."
Both Maria and Serena have both suffered health problems that have seen their ranking decline drastically over the last two years.
Serena is currently ranked 175 and Maria and moved up to fifth in the world after capturing a spot in the finals at at this year's Wimbledon and the semifinals at this year's French Open. This is Maria's highest ranking since the 2008 US Open.
Women's tennis is starving for a good rivalry. Let's hope this doesn't disappoint.