Tennis

Sharapova fights her way into French Open semifinals

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The Sports Network
6/3/2014 11:02:56 AM
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Paris, France - Former champion Maria Sharapova fought her way into the semifinals at the French Open on Tuesday.

The seventh-seeded former world No. 1 star Sharapova came from behind to beat rising 20-year-old Venezuelan-born Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, 1-6, 7-5, 6-1, on Court Chatrier.

Muguruza, who displays easy power and a beautiful forehand and serve, shocked defending champion Serena Williams in the second round here last week.

Sharapova trailed 6-1, 5-4 against Muguruza before suddenly catching fire and winning nine of the last 10 games on Day 10. The Russian also posted a comeback victory against Sam Stosur in the fourth round, winning nine straight games after trailing that one, 6-3, 4-3, against her fellow former U.S. Open champ.

The 27-year-old Sharapova saved five break points while serving at 2-1 in the third set on Tuesday and then won the next game for a double-break lead, at 4-1, and cruised from there versus Muguruza to reach her fifth career French Open semi, including four straight.

Sharapova avoided becoming the latest upset victim in the women's draw, which has lost seven of the top-10 seeds.

The veteran Sharapova improved to 18-3 in major quarterfinals and won her 48th match at Roland Garros (against 10 losses), breaking a tie with Williams for the most among active female players.

Sharapova completed a career Grand Slam with a French Open title in 2012 and lost to Williams in last year's marquee finale at Roland Garros.

The Russian's semifinal opponent will be the 18th-seeded Eugenie Bouchard, who upended 14th-seeded Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro, 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, 7-5, on Court Lenglen. Bouchard came back from a break down in the final set.

The 20-year-old Bouchard will appear in her second Grand Slam semi in as many tries this year, as she was a surprise Australian Open semifinalist back in January. She's 0-2 lifetime against Sharapova, including a straight-set second-round French Open loss last year.

Two more quarterfinals will be staged on Wednesday, when fourth-seeded Romanian Simona Halep takes on 27th-seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova and 10th-seeded Italian Sara Errani battles 28th-seeded German Andrea Petkovic. The former world No. 2 and former U.S. Open champion Kuznetsova titled here in 2009 and was the Roland Garros runner-up in 2006. Errani was the 2012 French Open runner-up to Sharapova.

Maria Sharapova (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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