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MaSha crashes to Li in Edgbaston semis

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:35

Maria Sharapova’s dreams of claiming a third Edgbaston title are over following a 6-4 6-4 defet to No.4 seed Na Li in the AEGON Classic semi-finals.

Sharapova, who won in 2004 on her way to the Wimbledon title, had been unseeded as a result of her low world ranking following a lengthy lay-off to recover from a shoulder injury, and struggled with her serve throughout.

Li broke Sharapova six times in total, and now faces Magdalena Rybarikova in the final after the Slovakian beat Sania Mirza 3-6 6-0 6-3 in the other semi-final.

“After such a long lay-off, every match and every situation is a different test to the body” – Sharapova

“My return of serve was so good,” said Li afterwards. “I broke her many times so it did not feel like a grass court match. I lost to her so many times before, so I thought if I lose again then I should not worry. That made me very relaxed.”

Despite the defeat, Sharapova was upbeat after playing five matches in a week following nine months on the sidelines. “After such a long lay-off, every match and every situation is a different test to the body.

“I still felt like I had many chances in this match, but I have played five matches in the last six days and I wasn’t playing with the same intensity as I did in my previous matches. Against an opponent like her, the intensity has to be there the whole match. I just wasn’t able to come through.”

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