Defending champion and top seed Maria Sharapova advanced to the semifinals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix after a struggle lasting two hours and 16 minutes against fellow Roland Garros champion and fellow former No.1 Ana Ivanovic. In the third set Sharapova let Ivanovic level to 4-4 after leading 4-1, but she again took charge with a break to love and held serve to finish the match 7-5 4-6 6-4. The Russian’s semifinal opponent will be third seed Angelique Kerber, who put out Yaroslava Shvedova 6-3 7-6(2).
The other semifinal will feature Li Na and Bethanie Mattek Sands. The second-seeded French Open titlist Li defeated fellow Grand Slam champion Petra Kvitova 6-3 7-5, winning 11 of 14 games from 0-2 down in the first set and even though Kvitova took charge in the next three games in a row, it was Li who closed it out to set up a meeting with surprise semifinalist Mattek Sands, who saved a match point in the qualifying stage of the tournament before taking out Yanina Wickmayer in the first round, fourth seed Sara Errani in the second (even impressively bageling the Italian in the first set) and Sabine Lisicki 6-4 6-2 in the quarterfinals, converting all six break chanced that she earned.
(photos: © Neal Trousdale)