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Sharapova Comeback Stuns Muguruza

Maria Sharapova weathered an early storm to defeat Garbiñe Muguruza and take her place in the semifinals of the French Open.

Published June 03, 2014 12:13

Sharapova Comeback Stuns Muguruza
Maria Sharapova

PARIS, France - Maria Sharapova produced a stirring fightback to defeat Garbiñe Muguruza and take her place in the semifinals of the French Open.

The Plot
Having breezed through her first few matches, Sharapova was given an almighty scare against Samantha Stosur, before steadying the ship to keep her bid for a second title on track. Her reward for this spectacular turnaround was a meeting with Serena Williams' conqueror, Muguruza.

The Turning Point
Against Muguruza, Sharapova once again teetered dangerously close to elimination. However, as she has so often in her career, the Russian summoned her best tennis when she needed it most. Serving at a set and 4-5 down, she suddenly began to find the lines, holding comfortably before breaking for just the second time in the match in the very next game.

The decider hinged on the third game, a gloriously tense 12-minute battle in which Sharapova repelled five break points. Once past this challenge, the Spaniard's resistance withered, Sharapova winning eight of the last 10 points to close out a 1-6, 7-5, 6-1 victory.

Quotes
"In a lot of the games in the first set she was up 30-0, 40-0, and then I'd win a point or two," Sharapova said. "Then she's the one with the confidence. In the second set, when I was making her hit a second ball after her serve or when I was being a bit more aggressive on the second serves, taking a bit more chances, all of a sudden she's not hitting so freely.

"I knew that the match wasn't over. I still had a fair bit of time to change things around. Little by little I started playing a bit better, started getting in the court a little bit more, playing a little bit more aggressive, serving better than I did in the first set, returning as well, giving myself more looks at break points."

What's Next
In the semifinals, Sharapova will face Eugenie Bouchard, who required her own comeback to see off Carla Suárez Navarro.

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