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SHARAPOVA THROUGH TO MADRID SFS

2015-5-8


MADRID, Spain - Maria Sharapova kept alive her hopes of defending the Mutua Madrid Open with a three-set win over Caroline Wozniacki in Thursday's quarterfinals.

Watch highlights, interviews and more video from Madrid right here on wtatennis.com!

While Sharapova avoided the tense finish that accompanied her victory over Caroline Garcia in the previous round, she was pushed hard once again. But, as on so many occasions in the past, she found a way to the winner's circle, eventually seeing off a dogged Woznicki, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.

Wozniacki had won the two most recent meetings between the two, most memorably a three-hour encounter at last October's BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. Perhaps eager to set down an early marker, Sharapova came out all guns blazing on Manolo Santana, pummeling a series of winners to race through the opening two games.

While Wozniacki would eventually get on the scoreboard, that would be her only contribution in the first set. Like Sharapova, arguably the greatest weapon in Wozniacki's arsenal is her will to win, and in the second set her fighting spirit came to the fore, capitalizing on a slight dip from the Russian to force a decider.

The Dane had her chances in the third set, too. It was Sharapova, however, that finished the stronger, capitalizing on some uncharacteristic Wozniacki errors to break decisively in the eighth game.

"I think I became a little bit more aggressive at the end," Sharapova said. "I was so far back for a long period of time after winning the first set. I definitely thought that was an improvement, something I started doing better in the third.

"And opening up the court a little bit more and then moving forward. I was staying too far back and letting her get in the rallies, which she's really good at."

In the semifinals, Sharapova will face either Svetlana Kuznetsova or Lucie Safarova.



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