Ana’s victory over Maria Sharapova has brought an end to an impressive winning streak on clay by the Russian. Although being characterized as a somewhat atypical clay court player in the early stages of her career, Sharapova has become one of the best players on the red surface, as the following key facts demonstrate.
Below are some of the landmarks Ana achieved today:
- Sharapova was unbeaten in Rome in 13 matches since 2011 and she claimed the title in 2011 and 2012, (she pulled out of the tournament in the quarter-finals last year due to a viral infection).
- It is Sharapova’s first straight set loss against a player other than Serena Williams since losing to Michelle Larcher de Brito in the second round of the Wimbledon Championships 10 months ago.
- Ana becomess the first player other than Serena Williams to have beaten Sharapova on clay since she lost to Na Li in the semi-finals of the 2011 French Open. Since then, the Russian compiled a 47-3 win-loss record.
- Ana has now beaten four former world No.1s this season, as well as the current No.1. The 26-year-oldhas enjoyed wins over Venus Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Jelena Jankovic and Maria Sharapova. She defeated reigning world No.1 Serena Williams at the Australian Open in January.
- Ana passed the third round of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia for only the second time in her career. In 2010, she reached the semi-finals where she eventually fell 6-4, 6-2 to Spain's María José Martínez Sánchez.
- Before today’s match, Ana trailed 8-3 in the head-to-head series against Sharapova, which included seven straight defeats. Ana's last win over the Russian was at the 2007 French Open.
- Ana's entry into the quarter-finals is her sixth time last eight appearance in 2014, which equals the amount of quarter-finals she contested during the entire 2013 season.
- Ana currently boasts a 5-3 win-loss record against top-10 ranked players (including Fed Cup) this season, while she is 10-4 against players ranked inside the top-20.
By Joeri Moerman