3
0
0

Sharapova Comeback Stuns Li

Maria Sharapova came back from the brink on Friday to defeat Li Na and keep alive her hopes of a first Mutua Madrid Open title.

Published May 09, 2014 12:14

x

Embedded code:

MADRID, Spain - Maria Sharapova came back from the brink on Friday to defeat Li Na and keep alive her hopes of a first Mutua Madrid Open title.

Watch highlights, interviews and more video from Madrid right here on wtatennis.com!

The Plot
It has not been the easiest start to the season for Sharapova, with early exits at both the Australian Open and Indian Wells putting her place in the Top 10 under threat. However, since getting onto the clay, the Russian has looked transformed, and in Stuttgart picked up the 30th title of her career.

For someone who once so openly loathed the surface, Sharapova is now in possession of an enviable record on clay. In fact, since the 2011 French Open semifinals, the Russian has won 41 of 44 matches, only tasting defeat to Serena Williams in that time. Meeting her for a place in the semifinals in Madrid was her conqueror in Paris three years ago, Li Na.

The Turning Point
For the first hour or so on court, Li looked on course to repeat the trick, bossing the rallies and easing a set and a break ahead. However, as so often in the past, Sharapova refused to give in, and she was rewarded for her perseverance when she capitalized on a loose Li service game to break back.

Few, if any, on tour can match Sharapova's matchplay instincts, and sensing her moment she hit the front, pinching the set in the tie-break before surging into a 3-1 lead in the decider. Now in control, Sharapova was not about to loosen her grip on proceedings, confidently closing the match out, 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-3.

By The Numbers
In a match of fine margins - both players won 93 points - unsurprisingly, the outcome hinged on just a few moments. For Sharapova, these moments came at the end of the second and third sets, where on both occasions she found her best tennis to save multiple break points.

What's Next
In the semifinals, Sharapova will face either No.3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska or qualifier Caroline Garcia.

Share this page!

Related news

  • Halep Bounces Back To Secure SF Spot

    July 29, 2016
    Simona Halep produced a stirring comeback in the first of Friday's quarterfinals to defeat Svetlana Kuznetsova and keep alive her hopes of a maiden Rogers Cup title.
  • Bencic Out Of Olympics

    July 27, 2016
    Still suffering the effects of a left wrist injury that derailed her Wimbledon campaign, Belinda Bencic has opted to withdraw from what would have been her Olympic debut in Rio.
  • Montréal Tuesday: Bouchard Begins

    July 26, 2016
    In Tuesday's second match on Central, home favorite Eugenie Bouchard takes on former Rogers Cup semifinalist Lucie Safarova.
To The Top
3