Sam storms into quarters
Australia’s Samantha Stosur and China’s Li Na stormed into the women’s quarterfinals at the Madrid Masters on Thursday.
Eighth seed Stosur stopped Swiss Patty Schnyder 7-6(3) 6-2 while Li, the 13th seed at the Caja Magica, put out Alona Bondarenko of the Ukraine in the third round after a 6-3 6-4 win.
Stosur next faces a test against fourth seed Venus Williams, against whom she stands 0-3 from 2007 and 2008 meetings.
Li will play the winner from the unseeded pair of Israeli Shahar Peer and Spain’s Arantxa Parra Santonja.
Stosur remains a huge force on the spring clay after winning 14 of her past 15 matches on the surface, taking the title last month at Charleston and playing the final in Stuttgart against Justine Henin.
The 26 year old from the Gold Coast leads the WTA standings for clay wins in 2010 and will move up to a career-high seventh in the world rankings next Monday, just in time for the countdown to the French Open.
The 2009 Roland Garros semifinalist will arrive in Paris as the highest ranked Australian woman since Wendy Turnbull was classed fifth in February 1984.
“I’ve played well since Indian Wells [in March],” said Stosur, who was broken in the penultimate game by Schnyder, but immediately broke the Swiss back to claim victory.
“That form just translated over to the clay. I’m enjoying my tennis, it’s just one of those things. Once you start winning it doesn’t matter which surface it’s on, it gives you confidence.”
Stosur said that she got better as the contest with Schnyder went on.
“It was even in the first set with no breaks. The key was to hold serve.
“I was feeling very comfortable in the second set. Schnyder is a tricky lefty who likes to hit a loopy ball and play the angles. My strategy was not to give her too many chances.
“I’m feeling really good on the court and of course the confidence is growing.”