There have been so many upsets in Madrid this week, but today, things went more or less the way one might expect. 7th seed Jelena Jankovic needed just an hour and eight minutes to defeat Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-2, 6-0, 8th seed Sam Stosur defeated Patty Schnyder 7-6, 6-2, and 13th seed Li Na defeated Alona Bondarenko 6-3, 6-4. Shahar Peer had a 7-5, 6-2 victory over wild card Arantxa Parra Santonja, and--in what had to be the match of the day--Aravane Rezai defeated Andrea Petkovic 6-4, 7-6.
Here is the quarterfinal draw:
Nadia Petrova vs. Lucie Safarova: Both women play their best on clay. Both are capable of serving very well, and both are inconsistent, though Safarova is having a fine clay season. I expect a good match.
Aravane Rezai vs. Jelena Jankovic: This would be what is known as the popcorn match, but it probably wouldn't hurt to bring a few sandwiches, too. Jankovic should be able to exploit Rezai's errors; she is the steadier of the two players. But Rezai isn't one to give up, and she is also able to motivate herself at crucial moments.
Sam Stosur vs. Venus Williams: Williams is looking very good this week, and is enjoying her status as the upcoming number 2 player in the world. If each player gets her way, it will be forehand vs. backhand. Both players are good servers, hard hitters and talented volleyers.
Shahar Peer vs. Li Na: In the past, I'd have automatically given this match to Peer, but out of nowhere, Li has become much more comfortable on clay.