Sharapova into French Open semi-finals

Updated: 01 June 2011 20:13 IST

Maria Sharapova moved to within two wins of a career Grand Slam on Wednesday when she defeated Germany's Andrea Petkovic 6-0, 6-3 to reach her second French Open semi-final.

Sharapova into French Open semi-finals
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Paris:

Maria Sharapova moved to within two wins of a career Grand Slam on Wednesday when she defeated Germany's Andrea Petkovic 6-0, 6-3 to reach her second French Open semi-final.

The seventh seed, who next faces Li Na, the Chinese sixth seed, for a place in the final, also ended Petkovic's hopes of becoming the first German in the last four in Paris since Steffi Graf in 1999.

Sharapova, a semi-finalist in 2007, was in unstoppable form in the first set, breaking in the first, third and fifth games before taking the opener 6-0 with the Russian allowing the German just seven points on her serve.

The Russian star, who needs a French Open title to become just the 10th woman to complete a career Grand Slam, hit deep, pinpoint winners off both flanks.

Petkovic, who had defeated Sharaopova to reach her first Grand Slam quarter-final in Australia in January, was quickly 0-2 down in the second set before she stopped the rot, finally getting on the scoreboard after 51 minutes.

The 23-year-old then levelled at 2-2 with her first break of the match but Sharapova, playing with a rare freedom of movement on a surface which has caused her numerous problems in the past, clawed back the break for a 3-2 lead.

Petkovic then broke for 3-3 after a lengthy sixth game, but former world number one Sharapova, who had been a set and 1-4 down against French teenager Caroline Garcia in the second round, once again summoned her famed fighting spirit.

She retrieved the break to lead 4-3 and held for 5-3.

Sharapova went to two match points in the ninth game with another booming forehand and claimed victory when Petkovic dumped a tired forehand into the net.

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