Maria Sharapova beats holder Daniela Hantuchova at Indian Wells

Wilson Blade 9

Australian Open champion Maria Sharapova maintained her perfect start to the season beating holder Daniela Hantuchova 7-6 6-1 to advance into the Pacific Life Open semifinals where she’ll meet fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Fourth-seeded Sharapova, champion at Indian Wells in 2006, stormed back from 5-2 down in the first set and forced a tie-break which she won 7-2. In the second set, Sharapova broke fifth-seeded Hantuchova in the second and sixth games to secure her 18th successive win of the year.

Kuznetsova was the first one to reach the Indian Wells semifinals beating Agnieszka Radwanska. The other two semifinalists will be known after the following matches: Ana Ivanovic vs. Vera Zvonareva, Jelena Jankovic vs. Lindsay Davenport.


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