Rain stretched it over two days, it went to three sets and at 4-4 in the last set it was still unclear whether Maria Sharapova or Marion Bartoli would have the edge and advance to the US Open semifinals. The Russian then broke the persistent Bartoli and in the next game established herself as the winner, 3-6 6-3 6-4.
On Tuesday, Bartoli started the quarterfinal on fire, building a 4-0 lead, even though in the fourth game, leading 40-0 on Sharapova’s serve, a bad line call prevented Bartoli from breaking Sharapova to love immediately and allowed the Russian to come back to 40-40. Eventually, the still erratic Sharapova gave the game away by double-faulting on Bartoli’s fourth break point. Soon afterwards, the match was suspended due to rain and it turned out it would resume on Wednesday.
After taking the first set 6-3, Bartoli, who “played like a woman possessed” in her 1-6 6-2 6-0 win over Petra Kvitova in the fourth round, opened the second set with a break, aided by Sharapova’s three double faults in that game. Sharapova rebroke right away, though, and was steadier on her serve in the rest of the set, forcing a tense third set, which could have gone either way, but it was Sharapova who pushed a bit better in the end.
Bartoli was playing her first US Open quarterfinal and in five meetings with Sharapova this was the first time she took a set off the Russian.
In her first US Open semifinals since 2006 when she went all the way to the title, Sharapova will play world No.1 Victoria Azarenka, who eliminated defending champion Sam Stosur in a quarterfinal thriller resolved in the third-set tiebreak. Sharapova will try to avenge this year’s 6-3 6-0 loss to Azarenka in the Australian Open final. (photo: Moo’s Tennis Blog)