Sharapova smashes Stosur to move into semi-finals

Mason, Ohio: Maria Sharapova marched into the semi-finals of the Cincinnati Open after crushing Australian Samantha Stosur 6-3, 6-2 on Friday to set up a last four meeting with fellow Russian Vera Zvonareva.

Germany`s Andrea Petkovic will face Serbian Jelena Jankovic in the other semi-final -- China`s Peng Shuai withdrew from her clash with Jankovic due to injury.

Sharapova dominated from the start of the 72-minute match against world number 10 Stosur, who lost in last week`s Toronto Cup final to Serena Williams.

The Russian, who advanced to her sixth semi-final in 12 tournaments this year, is now projected to return to the top five when the new rankings are released on Monday.

"I played a really great match and did many good things today which caused her trouble," Sharapova told reporters.

"I was aggressive; I didn`t give her much time to do things that she likes to do when she plays well. I felt like I controlled most of the points."

Sharapova now comes up against a familiar foe in compatriot Zvonareva after the world number two claimed a 6-3, 7-6 victory over Slovak Daniela Hantuchova.

A buoyant looking Petkovic defeated Russian Nadia Petrova 7-5, 6-1 and now comes up against Jankovic, who after a marathon three set game against Francesca Schiavone on Thursday, was given a walkover when Peng withdrew with a left hip injury.

"It gives me a little more time just so that I can recover and on Saturday hopefully wake up feeling fresher and ready to play," said Jankovic.

"It is going to be a tough match. Andrea is playing very well in this moment. I just want to continue to play my tennis. I feel good as well. It`s going to be hopefully a good match."

Bureau Report

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