| By David Drucker

In Thursday action at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, Calif., American Serena Williams was able to knock off Maria Kirilenko of Russia in three sets, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2. With this victory, it now sets up the match of the tournament with Serena going toe-to-toe now with Russian Maria Sharapova. Sharapova who is seeded second at the event, came through in a three-set win two days ago. For fans, this is exactly what they had hoped for. Sharapova on the other hand will not admit to, but definitely did not want to see Serena in the quarterfinals. A Serena versus Sharapova matchup has the billing of Grand Slam semis or finals written all over it, not "Quarterfinals of a Minor Tournament." These two Grand Slam champions have met eight times in total, with Serena coming out on top in six of those matches. Their most recent matchup came at last year’s Wimbledon in the round of 16, where Serena won in straight sets. Sharapova’s last win over Serena came in 2004. Since then, Serena has won each of their five matches, three of which have come in Grand Slams.

In other news at the Bank of the West Classic, top-seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus was stunned by Marina Erakovic, a qualifier from New Zealand. Erakovic upset Azarenka in three sets, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2, and continuing with the upset alert, Sam Stosur of Australia, the number four seed, was upset by Sabine Lasicki of Germany, 6-3 7-5.