x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Maria Sharapova dominates Andrea Petkovic to reach last-four

The Russian reaches a grand slam semi-final for the first time in three years after beating Andrea Petkovic 6-0, 6-3 today at the French Open.

PARIS // Maria Sharapova returned to the semi-finals of a grand slam tournament for the first time in more than three years, beating Andrea Petkovic 6-0, 6-3 today at the French Open.

The three-time major champion, who is only missing a French Open title to complete her haul of majors, last reached this stage when she won the 2008 Australian Open.

Sharapova had little trouble against Petkovic with the Russian winning the opening eight games and then overcame two breaks to take the second set.

Sharapova will next face Li Na of China. The Australian Open finalist beat fourth-seeded Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 6-2.

The Australian Open runner-up Li broke serve in the 12th game to pocket the opening set on Court Philippe Chatrier.

She broke the fourth seed Azarenka's serve again to open a 4-2 lead in the second and sealed the win on her opponent's serve on her third match point.

Later today, the five-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal was to play two-time finalist Robin Soderling in the quarter-finals and Andy Murray was to face Juan Ignacio Chela.

Sharapova improved her slam quarter-final record to 11-3 by beating Petkovic. All three of her losses came at Roland Garros.

The one time she previously reached the semi-finals in Paris, she lost to the runner-up Ana Ivanovic in 2007.

Besides the Australian Open title, the seventh-seeded Russian also won Wimbledon in 2004 and the US Open in 2006. With a title at Roland Garros, Sharapova can become the 10th woman to complete a career haul of major wins.