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Sharapova through to semis

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:33

Sharapova started well against Belgian opponent Yanina Wickmayer but was forced to work hard over three sets for a 6-1 2-6 6-3 win.

The Russian, unseeded in the tournament, hammered down seven aces as she produced a series of strong service games in a match which stretched to one hour and 45 minutes. “I thought I started off really well and the tennis was at a pretty high level,” Sharapova said.

She added: “But I started slowing down in the second set and let her get back in the match. She looked pretty comfortable on the grass.

“We’ve always had pretty difficult encounters and I just played her last week at the French Open and it was three tough sets, but that was on clay, and this is a new tournament and a different surface. But she is always a tough one to play and we have always had very tough battles.”

Sharapova will face China’s Na Li in the last four on Saturday, after the latter progressed with a straight-sets victory over Stefanie Voegele.

The fourth seed, the highest-ranked player in the last eight, comfortably won the first set 6-3 but was forced to a tie-break in the second by the Swiss, coming out with a 7-6 (7/3) win.

The other semi-final will be contested between India’s Sania Mirza, who ousted Melinda Czink 6-1 7-6 (7/4), and Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova, who bettered Urszula Radwanska in straight sets to win 6-3 6-3.

Satisfied Mirza said: “I struggled a little in the clay season, so it’s great to be finally on the grass as I always play well on it.

“I was just trying to play my game as much as possible today and be aggressive. It’s been a great week so far and a great tune-up for Wimbledon. Hopefully I’ll have a good match tomorrow.”

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