Maria Sharapova takes on qualifier Anett Kontaveit in the Women's singles quarter-final of 2017 Stuttgart Open (Porsche Tennis Grand Prix) on Friday.
The three-time champion continued her impressive comeback from a 15-month-long drug ban on Thursday when she decimated compatriot Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets 7-5, 6-1 to enter the quarter-final.
On the other hand, 21-year-old Estonian player Kontaveit stunned defending French Open champion Garbine Muguruza in a marathon three-setter. Despite being crushed in the first game, the youngster came back to win the match 1-6, 7-6 (1), 6-1.
Sharapova was tested in the first set by Makarova but the 30-year-old held her composure to seal it, just like the way she had done in her opening round match against Roberta Vinci. There was no looking back after that as the five-time Grand Slam winner, apart from her booming returns, also impressed with her serves as she clinched the match with an ace.
While she is at the receiving end of criticism for her early return from the drug ban, Sharapova conceded that she found it difficult to control her emotions on Wednesday against Vinci, but was able to get settled a bit more during yesterday's win.
Racing against time to earn an automatic qualifying berth for 2017 French Open, the Russian superstar will be well served if she manages to reach the final here and standing in her way is Kontaveit, who has impressed with her showing in the new season.
Kontaveit will be confident with the way she fought back against Muguruza and the Estonian is looking determined to make an impact after reaching her maiden WTA final at the Ladies Open Biel Bienne earlier this month.
However, having not faced Sharapova earlier on clay, Kontaveit is all set to face an uphill task against the confident-looking Russian.
Singapore: StarHub Sports
UK: BT Sport
US: BeIN Sports
Australia: beIN Sports
Middle East: beIN Sports