Former Champions Sharapova, Hantuchova Battle for Indian Wells Semifinal Berth

Posted on March 19, 2008

Quarterfinal play for the women gets underway Wednesday at the Pacific Life Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Four of the eight players remaining will try to break through to the semifinals of the Pacific Life Open for the very first time; Ana Ivanovic and Vera Zvonareva have been stopped at this stage before (the Serbian once before and the Russian twice) while Jelena Jankovic and Agnieszka Radwanska are in the quarters here for the first time.

Four of the eight players remaining have all gotten past this stage before and all four have been as far as the finals as well; Daniela Hantuchova and Lindsay Davenport are both two-time champions (the Slovak in 2002 and 2007, the American in 1997 and 2000), Maria Sharapova is a one-time champion (in 2006) and Svetlana Kuznetsova is a one-time runner-up (in 2007); Davenport is also a four-time runner-up (in 1998, 2003, 2004 and 2005).

Top 8 seeds who fell before this round were No.6 seed Marion Bartoli (who lost to Davenport in the fourth round), No.7 seed Nicole Vaidisova (who lost to Casey Dellacqua, who in turn lost to Zvonareva in the fourth round), and No.8 seed Dinara Safina (who lost to Ashley Harkleroad, who in turn lost to Radwanska in the fourth round).

Three streaks that are still going as of the end of play on Tuesday are Sharapova’s 17-match win streak (she is 17-0 this year), Davenport’s eight-match win streak and Hantuchova’s nine-match win streak at Indian Wells.

The only teen remaining is 19-year-old Radwanska; the only 30-something remaining is 31-year-old Davenport; the rest of the field are all aged between 20 and 24 (two are 20 years old, one is 22, two are 23 and one is 24).

Should Davenport win her quarterfinal match against Jankovic, she would become the first in Sony Ericsson WTA Tour history to break the $22-million mark in career prize money (she would add $80,000 to her current total). (WTA)