Fights Back To Reach French Open Quarter-Finals
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[June 02, 2014]
By Robert and Woodward
PARIS (Reuters) - Maria Sharapova, seventh
seed and last yearís losing finalist, won the last nine games of the
match to sweep past Australiaís Samantha Stosur 3-6 6-4 6-0 into the
French Openís quarter-finals on Sunday.
The 19th seed outfought and outfired the former world No.1 in the
first set and held her nerve when Sharapova broke early in the
But the Russian began to build a remorseless momentum to grind down
Stosur with her accuracy from the baseline.
Sharapova broke for a 5-4 lead to take the second set and raced to a
3-0 lead in the third after winning 17 of 20 points.
She won the match on her second match point and will play unseeded
Garbine Muguruza of Spain in the quarter-finals after she beat
Pauline Parmentier 6-4 6-2.
"It was so difficult in the beginning, Samantha was playing so well,
but I got energy from the crowd," Sharapova said.
"I'm so happy to be back in the quarter-finals, it's such a special
tournament for me. "It's a big step but when you get there it will
get more difficult. Hopefully I will raise my level."
Sharapova is favorite to win the title after the early exits of
defending champion and world No.1 Serena Williams and second seed Li
Na, although Simona Halep of Romania is the fourth seed and in great
The difference between Sharapova at the start and finish of the
match was huge Ė her serve took a set and a half to find its groove
and Stosurís energy clearly discomfited her opponent.
Stosur broke for 4-3 in the first set, on her fourth break point
when Sharapova netted a forehand, and then did it again in the final
game of the set when the Russian double-faulted on set point.
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Stosur hit long with the court at her mercy on break point to lose
the first game of the second, but she broke back for 2-2. The
Australian took a 4-3 lead but that was as good as it got, because
Sharapova was now motoring, her shots finding the corners and Stosur
could not keep up.
A net cord gave Sharapova a break for 5-4 and Stosur hit long to
lose the set.
The Australian gradually had the life squeezed out of her as games
came and went before Sharapova wasted her first match point with a
double fault and then delivered the final blow.
(Reporting by Robert Woodward; editing by Toby Davis)
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