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Stosur Serves Up QF Win

Samantha Stosur was one of four powerhouses who reached the semifinals on Friday.

Published August 07, 2009 11:59

LOS ANGELES, CA, USA - Eight became four at the LA Women's Tennis Championships on Friday, as the quarterfinals of the Premier-level tournament took the courts. Among the winners was Maria Sharapova, who took one step closer to claiming her first title since returning to competition in the spring. (Video Highlights: Los Angeles QF)

Video Watch the Los Angeles semifinals live and online at TennisTV.com

Sharapova, who missed nine months of play between August of last season and May of this season due to a right shoulder injury, moved into the semifinals with a 64 75 win over Urszula Radwanska in the first match of the night session. It was by no means easy though as she got the only break of the first set - an 18-point third game - and had to rally from 3-5 in the second set to close it out. (Video Highlights: Sharapova vs. U.Radwanska)

"It was just a matter of regrouping and staying positive," Sharapova said of the second set. "Slowly but surely, I'm finding my way on the court. A lot of what you lose when you miss time is that reflex, that hand-eye coordination, and I feel I'm getting it back. Sometimes it's just a matter of inches. There's a very thin line between winning and losing a tennis match." (Video Interview: Maria Sharapova)

Next for Sharapova will be No.10 seed Flavia Pennetta, who upset No.2 seed Vera Zvonareva in the second match of the night session, 64 62. A day before the Italian had upset No.5 seed Nadia Petrova, and with her back-to-back wins over the world No.10 and world No.7, she now has 10 Top 10 wins to her name. She is also on a nine-match winning streak, having gone 5-0 to win Palermo just a few weeks ago and now 4-0 here.

"I was playing very well from the beginning. My serve was great tonight and that was the important thing for me," Pennetta said. "It will be a tough match against Maria. I will need to play like I did tonight. My serve needs to be there again."

Sharapova has won both of her previous meetings with Pennetta, although both came in three sets, and they haven't played in over three years.

Earlier in the day, No.13 seed Samantha Stosur and Sorana Cirstea set up another high-profile clash. Stosur rallied from 64 31 down to beat No.14 seed Zheng Jie, 46 63 64, a day after the Chinese upset world No.1 Dinara Safina (Video Highlights: Stosur vs. Zheng); Cirstea won a marathon with No.8 seed Agnieszka Radwanska, 76(4) 16 75. (Video Highlights: Cirstea vs. A.Radwanska)

"It's a big difference from last week when I played her," said Cirstea, who lost to Radwanska in the first round of Stanford last week, 60 61. "I had to fight a lot at the end. When she was serving for the match at 5-4 in the third set I was just focused on staying in the match. I was patient today; that's why I won." (Video Interview: Sorana Cirstea)

Stosur and Cirstea have met just once before, in the French Open quarterfinals earlier this year, with Stosur beating the young Romanian handily, 61 63. (Video Interview: Samantha Stosur)

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