Sharapova, Serena reach U.S. Open semifinals

Maria Sharapova serves to Marion Bartoli during their women’s quarterfinal match at the U.S. Open...

Maria Sharapova serves to Marion Bartoli during their women’s quarterfinal match at the U.S. Open in New York, N.Y., Sept. 4, 2012. (EDUARDO MUNOZ/Reuters)

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 2:06 AM ET

NEW YORK - Former champion Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams were quarterfinal winners Wednesday at the U.S. Open.

The third-seeded former world No. 1 Sharapova overcame 11th-seeded Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, over two days at Ashe Stadium.

The fourth-seeded Williams cruised past 12th-seeded Ana Ivanovic 6-1, 6-3 in 58 minutes.

Sharapova will face current world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka in a semifinal here on Thursday. Azarenka beat Sharapova in this year's Australian Open finale and is 5-4 lifetime against the Russian superstar, including a 2-1 record, all in finals, in 2012.

The Sharapova-Bartoli match was suspended because of rain in New York on Tuesday, with the 2007 Wimbledon runner-up Bartoli up a pair of breaks at 4-0 in the first set.

The resumption of the bout was then delayed by rain on Wednesday at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Bartoli would return to finish off a first-set win, despite losing three-of- five games in the stanza on Day 10 of the fortnight.

Sharapova then answered by taking the second set to set the stage for a tight third.

The tall Russian got the key service break she needed for a 5-4 lead in the final set and closed out the match on her serve in the next game. Sharapova set-up her first match point with a resounding ace and closed out the match when Bartoli misfired wide with one final return.

"I think that rain break gave me a few hours to think about things," Sharapova said. "I came out so flat yesterday; she came out on fire. She's so tough."

Sharapova improved to 12-0 in three-set matches this year, advancing in 2 hours, 32 minutes with the help of 10 aces, although she did commit 11 double faults.

She secured a berth in her 15th career Grand Slam semifinal and her first U.S. Open semi in six years.

The 25-year-old Sharapova completed a career Grand Slam by capturing the French Open in June and lost to Williams in the gold-medal match at the London Olympic Games last month. She won her lone U.S. Open title back in 2006.

Also on Wednesday, an all-Italian quarterfinal saw 10th-seeded French Open runner-up Sara Errani handle 20th-seeded good friend and doubles partner Roberta Vinci 6-2, 6-4. Errani and Vinci are into the doubles semifinals together in Flushing.

The 25-year-old Errani will meet Williams on Thursday. The gritty Italian has reached at least the semis at two of the four majors this year and was a quarterfinalist at the Aussie Open in January.

Errani lost to Sharapova in the French Open final.

The fourth-seeded Williams owns 14 major singles titles, including this year's Wimbledon championship and a trio of U.S. Open crowns. She lost to Sam Stosur in last year's U.S. Open finale.

Williams improved to 4-0 lifetime against Ivanovic, including 3-0 at the U.S. Open, where the American great beat the Serb in the fourth round a year ago.


Videos

Photos