Comeback player Maria Sharapova, who definitely spiced up this Roland Garros, was defeated in the quarterfinals by Slovakian seed No.20 Dominika Cibulkova 6-0 6-2. The favorite for the title, top seed Dinara Safina, advanced to the semifinals, and her next opponent will be Cibulkova.
It’s fair to say Sharapova has gone further than expected, having in mind she reached the quarterfinals with only three competitive singles matches played in nine and a half months prior to Roland Garros. On her way to the final four on her least favorite surface, Sharapova beat seed No.11 Nadia Petrova and seed No.25 Li Na.
The former world No.1 Sharapova was close to being double bageled by Cibulkova in the quarterfinals, but the Russian broke Cibulkova’s serve at 5-0, even though Cibulkova had a match point. Then Sharapova impressively won the following game, and when Cibulkova served for the match again, Sharapova gave more resistance, by saving three match points in that game. However, she was defeated on the fifth.
In the first quarterfinal of the day, top seed Dinara Safina lost her first set at the 2009 French Open to ninth seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, who took out defending champion Ana Ivanovic in the fourth round. However, despite opening her quarterfinal by losing the opening set in just 23 minutes, the dominant Russian won the match 1-6 6-4 6-2.
I simply have to point out the spectacular stats of Safina's first four rounds: the world No.1 won four sets at love, dropped only five games, and her average match time was just 59 minutes. (photos: Stephane Martinache)