Posted June 06, 2012 on AP on Fox
Whether she's enjoying a cafe lunch, shopping on the Champs-Elysees 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 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 3 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. Kvitova beat Sharapova in last year's Wimbledon final, while Sharapova won the most recent match, on clay this year in Stuttgart. ''I hope that I remember something (from Wimbledon) and it will be different on the clay,'' Kvitova said. Kvitova reached the semifinals for the third time over the past four Grand Slams. Meanwhile, Sharapova 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.'' In Thursday's other semifinal, No. 6 Samantha Stosur will face No. 21 Sara Errani. The Italian, who reached her first Grand Slam semifinal, has had more success as a doubles player before excelling in singles this week. She and her doubles partner, Roberta Vinci, won their semifinal match Wednesday and will play for the title. Her quest to play in the singles final goes through Stosur, the U.S. Open champion who Errani hasn't beaten in five tries. The last was a 6-3, 7-5 loss on clay in Rome. ''She's an amazing player, of course,'' Errani said. ''She's very strong. If I'm here, it's because I'm playing good, so I want just to think about that and think to fight and make my best.'' 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 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 the contest Wednesday having won the seven matches it takes to earn the title at Roland Garros. But three of those wins came during qualifying. She was trying to become the first French Open qualifier to reach the semifinals. 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 Shvedova. ''She started well and I was very nervous from the beginning,'' Kvitova said. ''The first set I did easy mistakes. Then I knew that I had to change my game and I have to be the aggressive one and going for the points.''

Sharapova and Kvitova to meet in French Open Semifinal

Maria Sharapova Maria Sharapova continued her quest to complete a career “Grand Slam” by defeating 23rd seed Kaia Kanepi of Estonia with a straight forward 6-2, 6-3 win while Petra Kvitova eked out a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 victory over qualifier Yaroslava Shvedova on Wednesday in Paris at the French Open to set up the last of the semifinal pairings. The victory for Sharapova moves her...

The Thigh Goddess is one win away from a French Open title, & is now ranked #1 in the world

Maria Sharapova defeated/dominated Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-3 in the French Open semifinals on Thursday to advance on to the French Open final, where she'll face 21st-seeded Sara Errani on Saturday. With this victory, Maria is now ranked #1 in women's tennis, for the first time since June 2008. Maria was cruising along in those days before getting shoulder surgery, but it appears...

Sharapova to Return to World No. 1

From the WTA: PARIS, FRANCE – Maria Sharapova will become the new WTA World No.1 on Monday, June 11, following her semifinal victory over Petra Kvitova today at Roland Garros.   Sharapova originally ascended to No.1 on August 22, 2005, becoming the first Russian woman to achieve this milestone. The Russian has held the top ranking for 17 non-consecutive weeks during her career...

Errani to take on Sharapova in French Open final

Maria Sharapova is a three-time major champion and a global superstar, and her story is well-known: born in Sibera, moved with her father to Florida as a kid, worked with coach Nick Bollettieri. Her opponent in the French Open final, Sara Errani, has a tale that is far less familiar. When she was 12, she struck out on her own, leaving behind her family in Italy and heading off to...

Sharapova will meet Errani in final

Maria Sharapova reached her first French Open final and reclaimed the No. 1 ranking by beating fourth-seeded Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-3 Thursday, moving one victory from completing a career Grand Slam. The second-seeded Sharapova lost her two previous Roland Garros semifinals. She'll face 21st-seeded Sara Errani of Italy on Saturday with a chance to add to major championships she...

Sharapova, Errani will meet in final

A small, unheralded Italian and a very tall, very famous Russian made it through to the final of the French Open here at Roland Garros. For Sara Errani -- who defeated reigning US Open champion Samantha Stosur 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 -- it was a dream beyond dreams. But for Maria Sharapova, the crushing 6-3, 6-3 victory against reigning Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova took her just one step...

Sharapova shows she's no Kournikova

Maria Sharapova could be Danica Patrick now. She surely could have been a Go Daddy girl while dabbling in sports on the side. It would have been so easy. Instead, with her win Thursday in the semifinals at the French Open, Sharapova will move to No. 1 in the world. She came back from career-threatening shoulder surgery. She still fights the yips on her serve at times. And a win...

Notes and Quotes from Day 9 of the 2012 French Open

MARIA SHARAPOVA   On the controversial umpire calls: The first one was the most questionable one, I guess, because she couldn’t find the mark.  I mean, I don’t know how to  like, she said that to me.  What do you say to that?  You can’t find the mark?  I mean, it was like, Well, isn’t that your job, is to find the mark?  I mean, we’re on clay courts.  Usually when...

French Open 2012 – Day 12 Results

ROLAND GARROS Paris, France May 27-June 10, 2012 Grand Slam Red Clay/Outdoors Results – Thursday, June 7, 2012 Singles – Semifinals (2) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (4) Petra Kvitova (CZE) 63 63 (21) Sara Errani (ITA) d. (6) Samantha Stosur (AUS) 75 16 63 Doubles – Semifinals (7) Kirilenko/Petrova (RUS/RUS) d. (5) Hlavackova/Hradecka (CZE/CZE) 46 75 75 Doubles – Semi-finals...

French Open Head-to-Heads

Women's Semifinals Thursday Maria Sharapova (2) vs. Petra Kvitova (4) Sharapova leads 3-2 2010 Memphis, hard-indoor, SF, Sharapova, 6-4, 6-3. 2011 Wimbledon, grass-outdoor, F, Kvitova, 6-3, 6-4. 2011 Tokyo-Pan Pacific, hard-outdoor, QF, Kvitova, 4-3, retired. 2012 Australian Open, hard-outdoor, SF, Sharapova, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4. 2012 Stuttgart, clay-outdoor, SF, Sharapova, 6-4...

A Quick Look at the Women's Semifinals

With favorites Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka being dismissed from the French Open before the quarterfinals, the 2012 French Open became Maria Sharapova's tournament to lose.  Now that only four women remain, this is still true.  Searching for the Career Grand Slam, Sharapova has only lost once on clay this year, but she will face a huge test on Thursday in her bid...

ITF Honors 2011 World Champions

The ITF World Champions Dinner was held on Tuesday evening in Paris at the Pavillon d’Armenonville to celebrate the achievements of the 2011 ITF World Champions.   This year’s recipients were singles champions Novak Djokovic (SRB) and Petra Kvitova (CZE); doubles champions Bob and Mike Bryan (USA), and Kveta Peschke (CZE) and Katarina Srebotnik (SLO); junior champions Jiri...
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