June 19, 2013 | 04:28 PM (BD Time)
19 June, 2013 Wednesday
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Sharapova into semis after Stosur marathon
. AFP, Germany
Maria Sharapova needed more than three hours to complete a marathon three-set comeback against US Open winner Sam Stosur to reach Saturday's semi-finals at the Stuttgart WTA clay-court tournament.
With Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Petra Kvitova and Agnieszka Radwanska all in Saturday's semi-finals, this is the first time since Wimbledon in 2009 that the world's top four players have reached the last four at a WTA tournament.
Having won the first set tie-breaker, Stosur served for the match at 5-4 in the second only for Sharapova to hit back to claim a 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/4), 7-5 victory after three hours, one minute on court.
The world number two hit 11 aces, compared to Stosur's seven, and as the quarter-final finished at just before 2300 local time, the Russian said recovery was her main concern.
"She has a great serve and she served as well as she ever has against me," said Sharapova, who faces third-seed Kvitova in Saturday's semi-final after the Wimbledon champion's 6-4, 6-4 win over Germany's Angelique Kerber.
"It was pretty difficult to play against her, so I am very happy with the win. It's not over until the last point has been played and you've shaken hands.
"She had her chances to win, so I am just happy to have reached the last four. I have a second chance now and I intend to use it."
Stosur was in philosophical mood after a high-quality match when the only break point came in the third set.
"It sucks to lose, but when you play as well as I did
tonight, you can't be too hard on yourself," she said.
"It was a very good match, we both played well and there
wasn't much in it. Towards the end of the third set, she started
serving very well and put me under pressure to get the only break point.
"The last game was the cherry on top for her winning at 40-0 with some very good serving."
In the other semi-final, top seed and world number one Azarenka will play fourth-seed Radwanska of Poland.
All of Radwanska's four losses this year have come at the hands of Azarenka and having also reached the semi-finals here last year, the Polish number one said it takes a special effort to beat the world's top female player.
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