FLUSHING MEADOW, NY â€“ For the first time since 2006, when she won the US Open, Maria Sharapova has reached the semifinals with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 comeback victory over Franceâ€™s Marion Bartoli.
The match was suspended due to rain on Tuesday afternoon with Bartoli leading 4-0. The match picked up again on Wednesday with Sharapova breaking serve, but Bartoli withstood what could have been a change of momentum and held on to the set 6-3.
â€œLike there is a reason why she reached the quarterfinals,â€œ said Sharapova.Â â€œI mean, I think her level of play really showed today and yesterday why she was in the top 10 and why she’s such a highâ€‘quality player.Â Yeah, there’s a lot of good things that she did.Â I’m happy that I pulled through no matter how tough it was.â€
Sharapova talked about Bartoli’s unpredictibility: “A little bit on the serve.Â She was going a lot for her second serves.Â I think she probably had like 30 serves that were 99â€‘milesâ€‘perâ€‘hour second serves.Â It’s like she worked consistently to get 99 miles an hour. Â Every time I looked at the clock it was like 99, 99.Â If I lose this match, I’m going to have nightmares.Â (Laughter.) Â No, I mean, I guess she just has that nontraditional game where it’s kind of sneaky.Â You don’t know if she’s going to come in or if she’s gonna hit the ball or be flat or hit the frame. Â But, yeah, she’s worked a lot on it.Â That’s why it’s good.”
Sharapova rallied to capture the second set 6-3 as well as the match momentum. She gutted out a close third set breaking serve in the ninth game and set up match point with an ace closing it out on her serve.
The Russian said in an on-court interview: â€œThat rain break gave me a few hours to think about thingsâ€¦I came out a little flat yesterday and she was on fire.â€
No. 3 Sharapova Â who was a little erratic with her serve, Â hit 10 aces versus 11 double faults with a 64% first serve percentage.
The win gives Sharapova a perfect 12-0 in three-set matches this year. Â Sheâ€™ll be meeting No. 1 Victoria Azarenka in the semifinals and she is 11-0 in three-set matches this year.
Azarenka demolished Sharapova in the Australian Open final 6-3, 6-0 in January.
â€œShe beat me in Australia quite easily and Iâ€™d love to get my revenge at a Grand Slam,â€ Sharapova said.