Tennis: Sharapova out for revenge in US Open semis
NEW YORK (AFP) - Maria Sharapova advanced to a grudge-match United States (US) Open semi-final against top seed Victoria Azarenka while Serena Williams looked to book a trip to the last four for the fourth time in five years on Wednesday.
Russian third seed Sharapova reached the semi-finals for the first time since her 2006 US Open title run by rallying to defeat French 11th seed Marion Bartoli 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a match that began on Tuesday but was halted by rain.
Sharapova, who improved to 12-0 in three-set matches this year, faces a Friday showdown against World No. 1 Azarenka, a 23-year-old from Belarus who beat Sharapova 6-3, 6-0 in last January's Australian Open final.
"Tough challenge," Sharapova said. "She beat me in Australia quite easily and I would love to get my revenge at a Grand Slam." Azarenka, who ousted defending champion Samantha Stosur of Australia on Tuesday, leads the all-time rivalry with Sharapova 5-4, including a victory in March's Indian Wells final and a loss in April's Stuttgart final on clay.