Maria Sharapova advances to semi-finals at the French Open

 

Maria Sharapova is one win away from a first French Open final after
seeing off Kaia Kanepi 6-2 6-3 in the quarter-finals at Roland Garros
today.

The second seed and title favourite is looking to complete her set of grand slam titles and go one better than last year, when she lost to eventual champion Li Na in the last four.

Sharapova had struggled in the wind against Klara Zakopalova in the previous round, dropping her first set of the tournament, and it was breezy and cool again today.

There had been a remarkable 21 breaks of serve in that match, and it looked like the same could happen today when all of the first three games went against serve.

But Sharapova looked much more secure, powering groundstrokes, and after she held for 3-1 she wasted little time racing through the rest of the first set.

Kanepi, who ousted former world number one Caroline Wozniacki in the third round, packs plenty of punch herself and she began the second set brilliantly, winning the first two games.

The Estonian had a chance to go 3-0 up but she could not take it, and from there Sharapova turned the screw, winning five successive games.

Kanepi had one last big effort, breaking the Russian to love when she served for the match, but she could not hold her own serve and a mis-hit backhand sealed her fate.

In the last four Sharapova, who will become the new world number one if she makes the final, will play Petra Kvitova in a rematch of the Wimbledon showpiece from last year.

The fourth seed ended Yaroslava Shvedova's hopes of becoming the first qualifier ever to reach the semi-finals at the French Open with a 3-6 6-2 6-4 victory.

The world number 142 began the match very well, much more consistently than Kvitova, who is virtually unstoppable when her groundstrokes are firing but can be erratic.

Shvedova was moving well and in control, but the tide began to turn after the Kazakh had broken in the opening game of the second set.

Kvitova broke back immediately and that seemed to give the Wimbledon champion a renewed sense of belief.

She looked poised to cruise through the decider when she moved 2-0 up but Shvedova was not finished and promptly won four games in a row as Kvitova returned to her error-strewn ways.

It was a real tussle now, and the Czech dug in admirably to pull back on serve, before piling the pressure on her opponent as she served to stay in the match.

Kvitova brought up a match point only to blaze a forehand long, but another soon followed and this time Shvedova hit a backhand wide.

PA

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference