Third set lucky for Sharapova to outbattle Bartoli

 

Flushing Meadows

Maria Sharapova's comeback to beat Marion Bartoli in the quarter-finals of the US Open here yesterday was almost as inevitable as the rain which has put its habitual dampener on the second week of the year's final Grand Slam. When matches go to three sets there is no more likely winner than the 25-year-old Russian, who beat Bartoli 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to earn a semi-final against Victoria Azarenka.

Sharapova has been taken to three sets on 12 occasions this year and has won every time. Last year she lost just once in the 13 three-set matches she played. While she is rarely found wanting physically, it is Sharapova's remarkable mental strength that is usually the telling factor.

Bartoli led 4-0 when the match was called off because of rain late in the afternoon on Tuesday. When play eventually resumed after rain also delayed the start of play yesterday it was soon clear that the stage was set for another Sharapova comeback, although the recovery started too late for her to save the first set.

At 4-4 in the decider Bartoli saved two break points, but on the third Sharapova turned defence into attack to thrilling effect to give herself the chance to serve for the match. Playing in her first quarter-final here since she won the title six years ago, Sharapova went on to create match point with her 10th ace and promptly converted it when Bartoli hit a return wide and long.

"The rain break gave me a few hours to think about things," Sharapova said afterwards. "I came out flat yesterday and she was playing so tough. I had a good night's sleep and came back ready to start again."

The win ensured that Sharapova will climb one place to No 2 in the world rankings at the end of the tournament, though she cannot overhaul Azarenka. Sharapova won her last meeting with the world No 1, on clay in Stuttgart earlier this year, but Azarenka leads 5-4 in their overall head-to-head record.

In the other half of the draw Sara Errani reached the semi-finals at the expense of her friend and doubles partner, Roberta Vinci. Errani, who won 6-2, 6-4, said: "Playing a quarter-final against your best friend is difficult. There is much tension. Because of the rain we were on, off, on, off, so it was difficult. We know each other very well. We played together many times. It was strange to see her on the other side of the net. Normally when we walk on the court we go together and we talk. Today was a bit strange."

Errani, runner-up at this year's French Open, will now play the winner of the concluding quarter-final between Serena Williams and Ana Ivanovic, which was due to start yesterday's night session.

Tournament organisers were hoping to make up for lost time following the interruptions caused by the remnants of Hurricane Isaac, which started unloading rain on the city on Tuesday. The first of the men's quarter-finals – Andy Murray against Marin Cilic and Roger Federer against Tomas Berdych – were also due to be played last night.

With no cover on any of the courts, bad weather has forced this tournament into a third week for the last four years in succession. Although at this stage there is still plenty of time to complete the event on Sunday as scheduled, organisers will be looking anxiously at the forecasts, which are predicting mixed weather for the next few days.

Thankfully, this should be the last year to feature the final weekend's "Super Saturday", when both men's semi-finals are scheduled, along with the women's final, giving no room for manoeuvre before the men's final on the following day. From next year the plan is to have a day's break between the men's semi-finals and final (as the three other Grand Slam events have), although it is yet to be decided whether the tournament would end on Sunday or Monday.

Andy Roddick's career ended when he was beaten 6-7, 7-6, 6-2, 6-4 by Juan Martin del Potro in emotional scenes at Arthur Ashe Stadium. The American took the first set tie-break when their rain-delayed match resumed, but once Del Potro had won the second on another tie-break the 2009 champion eased to victory. In the quarter-finals Del Potro will play Novak Djokovic, whose opponent, Stanislas Wawrinka, retired with an injury when trailing 6-4, 6-1, 3-1.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum