Flushing Meadows, NY (Sports Network) - Former champion Maria
Sharapova was a hard-fought quarterfinal winner Wednesday at the U.S. Open.
The third-seeded former world No. 1 overcame 11th-seeded Frenchwoman Marion
Bartoli 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 over two days at Ashe Stadium.
Sharapova will face current world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka in a semifinal
here on Thursday. Azarenka beat Sharapova in this year's Australian Open
final and is 5-4 lifetime against the Russian superstar, including a 2-1
record, all in finals, in 2012.
The Sharapova-Bartoli match was suspended because of rain in New York on
Tuesday, with the 2007 Wimbledon runner-up Bartoli up a pair of breaks at 4-0
in the first set.
The resumption of the bout was then delayed by rain on Wednesday at the
USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Bartoli would return to finish off a first-set win, despite losing three-of-
five games in the stanza on Day 10 of the fortnight.
Sharapova then answered by taking the second set to set the stage for a tight
The tall Russian got the key service break she needed for a 5-4 lead in
the final set and closed out the match on her serve in the next game.
Sharapova set-up her first match point with a resounding ace and closed out
the match when Bartoli misfired wide on one final return.
Sharapova improved to 12-0 in three-set matches this year, advancing in 2
hours, 32 minutes with the help of 10 aces, although she did commit 11 double
She secured a berth in her 15th career Grand Slam semifinal and her first U.S.
Open semi in six years.
The 25-year-old Sharapova completed a career Grand Slam by capturing the
French Open in June and lost to Serena Williams in the gold-medal match at the
London Olympic Games last month. She won her lone U.S. Open title in 2006.
Also on Wednesday, an all-Italian quarterfinal saw 10th-seeded French Open
runner-up Sara Errani handle 20th-seeded good friend and doubles partner
Roberta Vinci 6-2, 6-4. Errani and Vinci are into the doubles semifinals
together in Flushing.
The 25-year-old Errani will meet the Serena Williams-Ana Ivanovic winner on
Thursday. The gritty Italian has reached at least the semis at two of the four
majors this year and was a quarterfinalist at the 2012 Aussie Open.
Errani lost to Sharapova in the French Open finale.
The Sports Network