French Open Results: Maria Sharapova a Winner as She Cruises to Semifinals

Tom LoughreyAnalyst IIIJune 1, 2011

French Open Results: Maria Sharapova a Winner as She Cruises to Semifinals

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    PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 01:  Maria Sharapova of Russia hits a forehand during the women's singles quarterfinal match between Maria Sharapova of Russia and Andrea Petkovic of Germany on day eleven of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 1, 2011 in Paris,
    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    Day 11 at Roland Garros is complete.

    No one expected all four quarterfinal matches to end in straight sets. However, four players were clearly better on Wednesday, punching their tickets to the final four of the French Open.

    The most well-known players in action were Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka. However, not all four of these players advanced to the next round as Azarenka was ousted by Na Li.

    With four players left in each draw, it's now anyone's title to win. Hopefully, some more exciting matches are in store for spectators in the semifinals.

    With very few matches to select from, here are the top-two winners and losers from Day 11 in Paris.

Winner No. 1: Maria Sharapova

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    PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 01:  Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates matchpoint during the women's singles quarterfinal match between Maria Sharapova of Russia and Andrea Petkovic of Germany on day eleven of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 1, 2011 in P
    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    Maria Sharapova was the most dominant player on court Wednesday.

    Sharapova dropped just three games on her way to victory over Andrea Petkovic, avenging her 2011 Australian Open Round of 16 loss to Petkovic, 6-2, 6-3.

    The first set was all Sharapova, who won 30 points to Petkovic's 15 in a 6-0 triumph. Sharapova captured 67 percent of points while returning in the opening set.

    Sharapova's first serve was lethal throughout the day, as she hit 80 percent of first serves to keep Petkovic on the defensive. However, Sharapova's unsure second serve kept the second set close. The Russian converted four of nine break points to defeat the German 6-3 and advance to the semifinals.

    Sharapova will match up with Na Li, who she has lost to the last two times they've matched up. Sharapova held a 5-0 record against Li before the last two meetings. Sharapova also won the only clay-court meeting between the two in the 2009 French Open.

Winner No. 2: Rafael Nadal

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    PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 01:  Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates a point during the men's singles quarterfinal match between Rafael Nadal of Spain and Robin Soderling of Sweden on day eleven of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 1, 2011 in Paris, France.
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Rafael Nadal continues to get better at the French Open, recording his 225th career clay-court win on Wednesday.

    The Spaniard took out Robin Soderling in the quarterfinals 6-4, 6-1, 7-6(3). Nadal was incredibly efficient and nearly error-free in his straight-set victory over the only person to have ever beaten him at Roland Garros.

    Nadal played his best match of the tournament on Wednesday, hitting 77 percent of his first serves and committing only 13 errors against the powerful Swede. The second set was perhaps Nadal's finest, as he only committed two errors while sticking in long rallies with Soderling.

    Soderling had his chances on Nadal's serve in the third set, but he was only able to convert one of five break-point opportunities. Nadal won his second straight tiebreaker of the tournament after losing two convincingly to American John Isner in the first round.

    Nadal will move on to play Andy Murray in the semifinals, whom he's never lost to on clay.

Loser No. 1: Underdogs on the Men's Side

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    PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 01:  Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina hits a forehand during the men's singles quarterfinal match between Andy Murray of Great Britain and Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina on day eleven of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 1, 201
    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    All four top seeds in the men's draw advanced to the semifinals of the French Open.

    On Wednesday, No. 5 seed Robin Soderling was beat, meaning upsets weren't plentiful in the men's singles tournament.

    At the French Open, it's expected that some top players will go down early. In the first round, No. 6 Tomas Berdych was defeated. Nadal was also pushed to five sets, and it looked like some underdogs would have a chance to pull of huge upsets on clay.

    However, even Soderling couldn't do it again, as the top four in the game are all extremely efficient on clay. If an American happened to be in the top four, the chances of him losing before the semifinals would have raised tenfold.

    Rarely do the top four seeds at a major tournament all advance to the semifinals. The feat has only happened 12 times in the Open era.

    The dark horses are supposed to be the hardest to beat in Paris, but not this year.

Loser No. 2: Top Seeds on the Women's Side

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    PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 01:  Victoria Azarenka of Belarus serves during the women's singles quarterfinal match between Na Li of China and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus on day eleven of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 1, 2011 in Paris, France.  (Photo
    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    As things were playing out to form on the men's side, the women's side was more upset-ridden than anyone could have guessed.

    As Andy Murray was the final one of the top four to make it to the semifinals, Victoria Azarenka was the last of the top four on the women's side ousted.

    No. 1 seed Caroline Wozniacki was beaten down in the third round by Daniela Hantuchova, winning only four games.

    No. 2 seed Kim Clijsters was taken out in the second round by relatively unknown Arantxa Rus from the Netherlands.

    No. 3 seed Vera Zvonareva was defeated in the Round of 16 by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

    Four of the top 11 seeded players are still alive, but each player could make a case for being the favorite.