Maria Sharapova, far from a clay court goddess, handed out a thumping clay court lesson to Andrea Petkovic. The German youngster had nothing to dance about after Sharapova, who is looking to complete a career Grand Slam this year, trounced her 6-0 in the first set in just 32 minutes. Sharapova was clearly not messing about, relentlessly thumping her shots and teaching the (at times) cocky young Petkovic what champions are made of.
The noise level was, as always, unpleasant at best (I’m just glad she wasn’t on the same court as Azarenka) but Maria was clearly looking to get the job done quickly, breaking again in the opening game of the second set.
After losing eight consecutive games Andrea finally got on the board after 51 minutes of play but was still behind a set and a break. The German then followed with a break of Sharapova’s serve to get the set level at 2-2.
A battle for the fifth game saw Sharapova edge in front at 3-2 with another break before being broken again as the players continues trading breaks of serve. After another break of serve, as Petkovic seemed almost unable to hold serve, Petkovic was forced to serve at 3-5 to try and stay alive. Sharapova powered through, denying the German a chance to hold more than once as she took the match 6-0, 6-3.
Maria has also been the tournaments best dressed WTA player and now arrives in the semis to face Li Na. Sharapova has been slowly working herself into form after working to regain her fitness after shoulder surgery. Few believed that Sharapova could make it back to the top of women’s tennis but with the Williams sisters struggling and Kim Clijsters barely playing for various reasons, Sharapova is making her way back to the top with the help of gritty determination.