Maria has recorded her 500th career win as she advanced to the final of the Mutua Madrid Open. Maria defeated No.16 seed Ana Ivanovic of Serbia 6-4 6-3 in an hour and 17 minutes.
Maria is making her first appearance in the final in Madrid and this is her fourth final of 2013. Since winning Rome last year, Maria remains unbeaten on clay and this is her 21st straight win on the surface.
In the first set, Maria got the first break in the fifth game as Ivanovic netted a forehand and Ivanovic broke back immediately in the next game. Maria took control of the set by breaking Ivanovic to lead 4-3 with a forehand winner. On set point at 5-4, Ivanovic’s shot floated long as Maria took the first set 6-4 in 38 minutes.
Ivanovic raced into a 2-0 lead in the second set but Maria won five of the next six games and won the match on a blistering crosscourt forehand winner to book her spot in Sunday’s final.
In Sunday’s final to be played at 1.00 PM local time, Maria will play No.1 seed Serena Williams of the United States. Maria has played Williams fourteen times before and trails the series 2-12, here are the matches they have played against each other:
2004 Miami R4: Williams won 6-4 6-3
2004 Wimbledon Final: Maria won 6-1 6-4
2004 WTA Championships Final: Maria won 4-6 6-2 6-4
2005 Australian Open Semi-Final: Williams won 2-6 7-5 8-6
2007 Australian Open Final: Williams won 6-1 6-2
2007 Miami R4: Williams won 6-1 6-1
2008 Charleston Quarter-Final: Williams won 7-5 4-6 6-1
2010 Wimbledon R4: Williams won 7-6 6-4
2011 Stanford Quarter-Final: Williams won 6-1 6-3
2012 Madrid Quarter-Final: Williams won 6-1 6-3
2012 Olympics Final: Williams won 6-0 6-1
2012 WTA Championships Semi-final: Williams won 6-4 6-3
2013 Doha Semi-final: Williams won 6-3 6-2
2013 Miami Final: Williams won 4-6 6-3 6-0