Sharapova Ousted In QFs

Maria Sharapova fell to Greta Arn at the ASB Classic. Yanina Wickmayer made the semis.

Published January 06, 2011 12:00

Sharapova Ousted In QFs
Maria Sharapova

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Maria Sharapova made a surprise exit from the ASB Classic on Thursday, falling to Greta Arn in the quarterfinals, 62 75.

Sharapova, playing in New Zealand for the first time in her career and seeded No.1, seemed out of sorts early on, losing the first set in 29 minutes and getting broken in the first game of the second set; she won four of five games to take a 4-2 lead in the second set but Arn snatched momentum back, ending strong - she won the last eight points of the match for her biggest career win.

"When you're in those situations, whether you're down or up, you have to figure things out. You're on your own," Sharapova said. "Sometimes you do the same things and the balls go in. Today, a few more went out than I would have liked. But the tournament will still be here without me. I'd love to come back."

Arn, 31, had been 0-15 in her career against Top 20 players before her win over the No.18-ranked Sharapova. She is now through to her fifth career semifinal on the WTA, winning one title (Estoril in 2007) and falling in the semis three times.

"When I won I was just shaking. I wasn't nervous until the last game. I started thinking, 'Oh my God, I can beat Maria Sharapova,'" Arn said afterwards. "When I came here I was third on the qualifying list, and I got into the main draw after a few players withdrew. I'm so happy to be in the semifinals now."

"When someone gets a win over me it takes a big effort, whether I'm No.1 in the world or No.20," Sharapova said. "Greta played well. All the credit to her."

Yanina Wickmayer, the No.2 seed and defending champion here, had no trouble whatsoever in her quarterfinal, routing young Romanian Simona Halep in just 63 minutes, 60 62. Wickmayer has now won eight matches in a row at this tournament, going 5-0 to win the title last year and 3-0 so far this year.

At night, No.4 seed Julia Goerges rallied past Kateryna Bondarenko, 57 62 62. And in the only quarterfinal between unseeded players, Peng Shuai edged Britain's Heather Watson, 64 75. Watson, 18, was in her first WTA quarterfinal.

"My game wasn't working in the first set," Goerges said. "I wasn't moving well enough to hit my shots well and hit winners, and I wasn't serving well either. I played a stupid service game at the end. But I tried to stay focused and tough going into the second and third sets and it worked out well. In the end I think she was a bit tired and I'm happy to move into the semifinals here."

In the semifinals, Wickmayer will face Peng (Wickmayer leads their head-to-head, 2-0) while Goerges will face Arn (Arn leads their head-to-head, 2-0).

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