The semifinals of the 2015 Brisbane International have been set on Thursday. Top seeds Maria Sharapova & Ana Ivanovic both pulled through, joining Varvara Lepchenko & Elina Svitolina as the four players that will compete for the first big WTA trophy of the 2015 season.
Following Ivanovic’s night match on Wednesday, Sharapova was the first of the two marquee players to play her quarterfinal on Thursday. The Russian continued her flawless run this week, getting past Carla Suarez Navarro 6-1 6-3, making up for her loss against the Spaniard in Montreal last August.
Sharapova’s victory was not just watched by coach Sven Groeneveld and her entourage, the tennis superstar also had a special guest in her box as famous Australian race car driver Mark Webber cheered on the five-time grand slam champion.
This is not the first encounter Sharapova and the racing ace have shared as Sharapova’s Porsche Brand Ambassador duties have paired her up with the Porsche driver for several occasion during the 2014 season.
While Sharapova made her first semifinal of the year without any drama, Ana Ivanovic had to work a lot harder to make the final four. Ivanovic faced off with Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi who came out guns blazing, working up a quick 5-0 lead in the first set.
Ivanovic rallied back to make the set a close affair, the Roland Garros champion made a cruical mistake late in the first set though, stopping play for a supposed out ball that was clearly in. Instantly realizing her mistake, Ivanovic fell on her knees to beg for a different outcome, unfortunately for the Serbian the hawkeye system is immune to charm, exposing Ivanovic’s misjudgement that ultimately cost her the first set.
Despite dropping the first set, Ivanovic slowly but steadily began taking control of the match as Kanepi appeared more and more rattled. Five minutes shy of the 2-hour mark, Ivanovic sealed her match 4-6 7-5 6-3, escaping what could have been the first major upset of the season.
Following her successful but lengthy singles encounter, Ivanovic pulled out of the planned evening doubles match with Angelique Kerber, citing an abdominal injury.
There will be little time to recover for the Serbian star, as Ivanovic’s semifinal against Varara Lepchenko is scheduled for 3 PM tomorrow. Maria Sharapova & Elina Svitolina will complete the semifinals during Friday’s evening session, determining who checks the second ticket for the first big WTA final of the new season.
Women’s Tennis Blog will be there to capture all the action for you as the 2015 Brisbane International is quickly approaching its exciting conclusion!