The draw for the Mutua Madrid Open in Madrid, Spain has been released and Maria is seeded eighth and will play world no.31 Klara Koukalova of the Czech Republic in the first round.
Maria has played Koukalova six times before and leads the series 5-1. Here are the matches they have played against each other:
2003 Australian Open R1: Zakopalova won 6-4 7-6
2011 Wimbledon R3: Maria won 6-2 6-3
2012 Madrid R2: Maria won 6-4 6-3
2012 Roland Garros R4: Maria won 6-4 6-7 6-2
2013 Doha R3: Maria won 6-3 6-3
2013 Miami R4: Maria won 6-2 6-2
The first seed Maria can meet is no.9 seed Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia in round 3 and is projected to meet no.2 seed Li Na of China in the quarters.
Maria is making in her fifth consecutive appearance on the clay in the Spanish capital and her best result was reaching the final last year.