Maria Sharapova Defeats Jelena Jankovic to Advance at 2013 French Open
Maria Sharapova’s bid to defend her title at Roland Garros was in serious jeopardy at the start of her quarterfinal matchup with Jelena Jankovic, but she quickly turned things around for a 0-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory on Wednesday.
The Russian superstar was struggling mightily at the start of the match, but she rebounded in a big way in the second set and held on to win in the third.
It was a performance worthy of a champion, even though she was fortunate to survive. The No. 2 seed will next play No. 3 seed Victoria Azarenka in the semifinal of the 2013 French Open.
Sharapova proved that her ability to make mid-match adjustments is second to none. Over the course of this battle, she tweaked her forehand. In the opening set it was an unpredictable shot, but it became a fine-tuned weapon that enabled a strong rally to victory.
How will Sharapova finish at Roland Garros?
The win pushes Sharapova to 8-1 all time against her longtime foe from Belgrade, Serbia, but this was the first time these two childhood rivals have ever met on a clay court.
Surprisingly, the first set of their quarterfinal showdown was the only one that the 26-year-old Sharapova has dropped throughout the tournament.
With a tough matchup with Azarenka looming and a possible showdown with No. 1-seeded Serena Williams in the final—who has been absolutely dominant at Roland Garros this year—the Russian star may have been humbled at the right time.
H2Hs for women's semis tomorrow: Serena leads Errani 5-0 and Azarenka has a 7-5 edge vs. Sharapova #RG13— Roland Garros (@rolandgarros) June 5, 2013
Allowing Azarenka or Williams to gain the early advantage will be disastrous, as Sharapova will be hard-pressed to regain her ground in the next two rounds.
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