Russian world No. 2 Maria Sharapova will face Serena Williams in the third round of the Madrid Open after her second-round opponent Lucie Safarova withdrew Thursday.
Sarafova did not appear for the third-round tie because of an illness, and Sharapova will now take on ninth seed Williams, who beat Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki in a spectacular comeback 1-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Williams has dominated Sharapova in the past, winning seven of nine previous meetings, including their only match on clay in Charleston in 2008, while the Russian has not beaten Williams since the 2004 Wimbledon final, her first major title.
Sharapova is the last remaining Russian in either the men’s or women’s draws of the $4.8 million tournament after Ekaterina Makarova was ejected by Czech player Lucie Hradecka 6-2, 7-6(5) on Thursday.