Sizzling Sharapova powers past Petkovic
Maria Sharapova sent out a chilling warning to her rivals by racing into the semi-finals of the French Open with a 6-0 6-3 win over Andrea Petkovic.
A host of big names have fallen by the wayside at Roland Garros and the draw has opened up nicely for Sharapova to complete the career slam. There was pressure on the Russian coming into the clash with Petkovic, but she shook off any worries in the first game and it set the tone for the entire match.
Petkovic took the opening three points on serve but her arm tightened and hitting with freedom, Sharapova raced back to break. A hold was followed by a break to love and the German had no answers as the opening set was claimed in 32 minutes.
Petkovic had chances to get on the board at the start of the second set but the power of Sharapova from the back of the court was sensational as she worked her opponent further and further behind the baseline.
After securing the break, a love service hold took the unanswered games in Sharapova's favour to eight as the contest threatened the spiral away from Petkovic.
The rot was stopped in the third game of the second set as Petkovic held to love, leading to a roar of approval from the crowd on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
Petkovic threatened a rally when breaking Sharapova, showing good court craft in the process, but it only served to stoke the fire within her opponent as some crunching forehand winners earned Sharapova a second break of the set.
Petkovic broke back to level at 3-3 but she was unable to offer any threat on her own serve as Sharapova worked another break point which she converted with a crisp forehand that caught the sideline.
To her credit, Petkovic continued to battle but the depth Sharapova consistently found was hugely impressive and it took her through with relative ease.
Sharapova will meet Li Na in the semi-finals after the Chinese star claimed the scalp of No. 4 seed Victoria Azarenka. Belarusian Azarenka was the highest seed remaining in the draw, but that tag now falls on the shoulders of defending champion Francesca Schiavone after she was taken out by Li.
A solitary break of serve was enough for Li to take the opening set and it put her on course for the semi-finals as she had too much craft for Azarenka in the second set as she wrapped up a 7-5 6-2 victory.