Sharapova moves to French Open semifinals

PARIS — Whether she’s enjoying a cafe lunch, shopping on the Champs-Élysées or notching another victory on the soft red clay, Maria Sharapova sure enjoys these trips to the French Open.

“What girl doesn’t love Paris?” she said.

Two more wins and she’ll love it even more.

Sharapova moved another step closer to filling in the last piece of the career Grand Slam, defeating Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-2, 6-3 on Wednesday to reach the semifinals at Roland Garros.

Second-seeded Sharapova rolled through her 23rd-seeded opponent in 74 minutes, a much different scene than the three-set win over Klara Zakopalova in the fourth round that took more than three hours.

“I’m happy with the way I improved in this match,” Sharapova said.

Her next opponent will be fourth-seeded Petra Kvitova, the Wimbledon champion who ended 142nd-ranked qualifier Yaroslava Shvedova’s upset-filled run with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 victory. Sharapova leads their all-time series 3-2, including a win on clay earlier this year in Stuttgart.

Later Wednesday, in the men’s quarterfinals, No. 2 Rafael Nadal played No. 12 Nicolas Almagro and No. 4 Andy Murray faced No. 6 David Ferrer.

In the women’s draw, Kvitova reached the semifinals for the third time over the past four Grand Slams.

Sharapova, meanwhile, made the semifinals at Roland Garros for the third time. She lost at that stage last year and in 2007.

“I love coming back here, love challenging myself to get further every year and I hope this is this year,” she said.

If she wins the tournament, she’ll add the French Open title to her championships at Wimbledon in 2004, the U.S. Open in 2006 and the Australian Open in 2008. If she makes the final, she is projected to move to No. 1 in the rankings.

Either way, Sharapova will always have a soft spot in her heart for Paris — a city where she figures she could easily fit in.

“Who wouldn’t want that lifestyle? It’s great to me. I could eat at L’Avenue every single day, have the escargot and the little strawberries they have for dessert, gain like 20 pounds,” she said. “But that’s all right. They walk everywhere and they bike. That would help.”

Sharapova is 15-1 on clay this season with two championships, in Stuttgart and Rome. Sliding around on the saturated clay in Paris, she looked very comfortable against Kanepi, who made her fourth Grand Slam quarterfinal but never found her groove in this matchup.

“It was tough to get any rhythm today because balls were flying so hard from her side,” Kanepi said. “It’s unfortunate that I didn’t stay that long on the court. I enjoyed being there.”

Shvedova came into Wednesday having already won the seven matches it takes to earn the title at Roland Garros. But three of hers came during qualifying. She was trying to become the first French Open qualifier to reach the semifinals and after breaking Kvitova twice to capture the first set, it looked doable.

But Kvitova turned more aggressive in the second and third sets, hitting 20 winners from the baseline to only nine for Svedova, and that helped turn the match.

“It wasn’t easy,” said Kvitova, who finished with five aces. “My serve helped me and I played my aggressive game.”

More in Sports

Former QB on Schottenheimer: ‘He’s a win-first’ OC

Kellen Clemens has had the new Seahawks’ play-caller as his coordinator for 7 of his 11 NFL seasons.

Everett’s Tori Odom, right, attempts a shot with Edmonds’ Jake Higgins defending Saturday night at the Walt Price Student Fitness Center in Everett on January 20, 2018. The Trojans won 117-100. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
EvCC races past EdCC in NWAC North showdown

Gio Jackson scores 32 points to lead the Trojans over the Tritons 117-100.

Huskies men overcome slow start to beat Colorado

Jaylen Nowell scores 19 points and Matisse Thybulle adds 18 in UW’s 72-62 win.

No. 13 Gonzaga bounces back to beat Santa Clara

After suffering their first conference loss of the season, the Bulldogs beat Santa Clara 75-60.

Saturday’s prep scores, links to recaps

BOYS BASKETBALL Non-conference Renton at King’s Cashmere 61, Granite Falls 32 Northwest… Continue reading

Lake Stevens girls show grit in 66-58 win over Glacier Peak

The Vikings rally from 13 down at half to take over sole possession of 1st place in Wesco 4A.

Friday’s prep basketball scores, recaps

Once again, a variety of local high school basketball players turned in… Continue reading

Bearcats pull away from Jackson in 79-67 win

Monroe’s Colby Kyle scores 24 points in his return from injury and Spencer Davidson tacks on 21.

Silvertips set to host pair of East Division powerhouses

Brandon and Swift Current make rare appearances in Everett this weekend.

Most Read