Sharapova survives to reach Brisbane semifinals

Maria Sharapova recovered her serve and her nerve to beat Kaia Kanepi 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 on Thursday and advance to the Brisbane International semifinals.

The third-seeded Sharapova, playing just her second competitive match since August, was broken three times and made a rash of errors in the first set against Kanepi, the 2012 Brisbane champion.

Sharapova dropped serve again to open the second set but wasn't broken again for the remainder of the two-hour match. She sealed it on her second match point with her ninth ace – after wasting her first chance to close it out with a long floating backhand, her 33rd unforced error.

Sharapova will next play the winner of the quarterfinal between top-ranked Serena Williams and ninth-seeded Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia.

Williams has won her last 13 matches against Sharapova since 2004 and has a 14-2 overall record in their not-so-friendly rivalry.


Until her first-round match in Brisbane, Sharapova had only played one match since an early exit at Wimbledon as she recovered from a right shoulder injury. She opened here with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Caroline Garcia of France and then got a walkover into the quarterfinals when 17-year-old Australian Ashleigh Barty withdrew from their match with a leg injury.

The No. 30-ranked Kanepi of Estonia caused her trouble from the start. The match began with four consecutive service breaks until Sharapova held for a 3-2 lead. Kanepi then went on a roll, winning four of the next five games and firing an ace on her second set point to take a 1-0 lead. Kanepi was on course for a big upset after breaking Sharapova again to start the second, but Sharapova started to find her range and rallied strongly from there.

At Auckland, New Zealand, former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic advanced to the semifinals with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Japan's Kurumi Nara, while Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium advanced with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over another Japanese player, Sachie Ishizu.

Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams plays her quarterfinal match against Spaniard Garbine Muguruza later on Thursday. – Sapa-AP

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

Ithala fails to act against board chairperson over PPE scandal

Morar asked to settle with the state and pay back the profit he made on an irregular tender

Vodacom swindled out of more than R24m worth of iPhones

A former employee allegedly ran an intricate scam to steal 8700 phones from the cellular giant

More top stories

‘Extreme’ tactics and lockdown buy rhino more time

The Rockwood Conservation reserve boasts zero poaching incidents in six years and its breeding project is successful, but costly

What is EFF’s party funding quest?

Its court application to force disclosure of donations to Cyril Ramaphosa may mask a bid to portray him as a capitalist puppet

North West premier in phone tapping claims

‘Agents’ working for Job Mokgoro allegedly tapped ANC and cabinet members’ phones

Judicial committee orders Mogoeng to apologise for SA-Israel remarks

The JCC said that by the chief justice straying into politics, he breached the judicial conduct code and ordered him to issue an apology and retraction
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…