Maria is through to the quarters of Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati after she defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia. Maria won 6-4 7-6 in an hour and 58 minutes.
In the first set, Maria got the first break of the match when Pavlyuchenkova double-faulted to lead 3-1. Pavlyuchenkova got the set back on serve in the seventh game but in the final game of the set, Maria broke to love and won set-point on a double fault by her compatriot to take the set 6-4.
The second set proved to be closer as there were six breaks of serve out of twelves games played as neither player could take advantage of breaking and the set was decided by a tie-break which Maria won 7-2 when Pavlyuchenkova hit a shot long.
On Friday, Maria will play No.2 seed Simona Halep of Romania. This match will be played on Grandstand at 7.00 PM local time. Maria has played the Romanian four times before and leads the series 4-0. Here are the matches they have played against each other:
2012 Indian Wells R3: Maria won 6-3 6-4
2012 Beijing R2: Maria won 7-5 7-5
2014 Madrid F: Maria won 1-6 6-2 6-3
2014 French Open F: Maria won 6-4 6-7 6-4