Sharapova to play Kerber in Stuttgart semi-finals

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Angelique Kerber, the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix’s third seed and home favourite, stated quarter final play on Friday afternoon in Stuttgart against Yaroslava Shvedova, the 37th ranked Kazakh. The German started well, but Shvedova fought back bravely before Kerber broke away again to take the first set 5-3. Kerber built up a lead once again at the beginning of the second set before Shvedova came back at her and even managed to get to 4-3, but some precise play by the German took her to level at 5-5. With both players playing at their best, the set went to a breaker, which Kerber took 7-2 for game, set and match – and her place in the semi finals.

Second on court were Russian top seed Maria Sharapova and world number 17, Ana Ivanovic of Serbia. The Russian had bye in the first round and a marathon three setter in the second, which lasted three hours and nine minutes against Lucie Safarova, so Ivanovic must have gone on court with some optimism. The Serb had taken out Andrea Petkovic in the first round and 8th seeded Nadia Petrova in the second, so she is playing well again. There were no breaks all the way to 11th game when Sharapova broke for 6-5 and she took the set 7-5 when she served an ace at 40-30. In the second set games again went with serve to the 9th game when Ivanovic got the first break and then served to take the set 6-4. In the decider the powerful Russian showed no signs of tiring and ran up a 4-1 before Ivanovic broke back to level at 4-4 before Sharapova broke yet again for 5-4 and the chance to serve out the match. This she did at 6-4 to complete the two hour and sixteen minute match.

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