2011 French Open: Order Finally Restored Among the Women
The 2011 French Open has been a tournament characterized by incredible comebacks, especially on the women's side.
That aura finally seemed to change in Wednesday's women's quarterfinal matches.
Maria Sharapova and Li Na showed no let-up in their wins against Andrea Petkovic and Victoria Azarenka, respectively. Each player won in straight sets and gave almost no window of opportunity to their opponents in the second set, something that hasn't been seen very much in this tournament.
The women's draw has been pretty wide open for the last seven days or so after the top seeds lost early, but we haven't really seen anybody step up and claim their territory.
Heading into tomorrow's semifinals, that notion has changed, at least for the time being.
Sharapova clearly knows what's at stake for her this year in Roland Garros as she is most likely looking at her best chance to claim her personal career slam. She won the first eight games against Petkovic and was able to close her out rather easily 6-0, 6-3.
Even when Petkovic got her game going early in the second set, the Russian star was able to come up with the shots she needed to when it mattered most.
Li Na, on the other hand, was not the favorite in her matchup against Victoria Azarenka, the betting favorite to win this title for some time. After a close first set, Na played some of the best tennis of her life in the second set to effectively hit the normally big-hitting Azarenka off the court.
The 7-5, 6-2 win propelled her to a second straight grand slam semi-final, as she was the runner up in Australia.
Nerves most definitely played a part for Azarenka, who is now 0-4 in grand slam quarterfinal matches. She was the player that looked the best headed into today's match against Na, but she looked nothing like the player that got her to that point.
With just three matches left to play in the women's draw, Sharapova and Na should have supreme confidence. They will play each other tomorrow for a spot in the finals and will play the winner of Marion Bartoli and Francesca Schiavone.
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