Former world No.1 Maria Sharapova, now ranked 102nd, for the fourth time in a row at the 2009 French Open showed her well-known characteristics that brought her loads of fans, her ever-present fighting spirit combined with powerful tennis. Sharapova beat Li Na 6-4 0-6 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals, even though it wasn’t expected as Sharapova played her first singles match in nine months only two weeks ago.
Li Na was leading 4-2 in the deciding set, but just as it seemed Sharapova would slowly vanish from the tournament, she won four games in a row to upset Li and prevent her from becoming the first Chinese to reach the Roland Garros quarterfinals. The Russian closed out the match on her first match point.
Sharapova’s next opponent will be seed No.20 Dominika Cibulkova, who beat No.29 seed Agnes Szavay 6-2 6-4 in the fourth round.
The only Grand Slam title missing in Sharapova’s collection is the French Open one. (photo: Stephane Martinache)