Key Biscayne, Florida: Second seed Maria Sharapova stormed into the semi-finals of the Sony Ericsson Open after ending her jinx against China’s Li Na with a convincing 6-3 6-0 win on Tuesday.
The Russian had lost her previous four meetings with Li in straight sets, including the semi-finals of last year’s French Open, but needed just 68 minutes to seal victory on Tuesday.
“I came into this match having lost to her the last few times. I just really wanted to change that, so I was extremely focused and looking forward to the match,” said Sharapova.
“I was just really consistent today in those conditions where, you know, it’s a little gusty and blowing around and I was facing a tough opponent.”
It was a scrappy start to the encounter with the first five games all being broken before Sharapova eased into her baseline game and won eight consecutive games to emerge victorious.
Serena Williams’ bid for a record sixth Key Biscayne title ended Tuesday when she lost in the quarterfinals of the Sony Ericsson Open to former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, 6-4, 6-4.
Wozniacki served well and was content to keep the ball in play, using her retrieving skills to extend rallies until Williams would make a mistake. Williams hit 34 winners to 12 for Wozniacki but also committed 36 unforced errors to the Dane’s 13.
Williams was playing in her first tournament since January after being sidelined by a left ankle injury.
Wozniacki, seeded fourth, advanced to the Key Biscayne semifinals for the first time, and she has a shot at her first final berth of the year. She had lost her previous three meetings against Williams.