Maria Sharapova and Eugenie Bouchard showed their fighting qualities to come through tough French Open quarter-finals and set up a meeting in the last four

Sharapova and Bouchard fight back to reach semis



Originally published on 03/06/14

Seventh seed Sharapova dropped the opening set in just 27 minutes against Serena Williams’ conqueror Garbine Muguruza. But the 2012 champion battled back superbly to level the match before running out a 1-6 7-5 6-1 winner in two hours and six minutes.

"I came across a player playing with such confidence and I knew it was going to be a tough match," said Sharapova, who was broken three times in the first set and trailed 5-4 in the second. "I had a tough start but luckily I had a good finish. She was playing so aggressive at the start, but also I wasn't really helping myself with my movement or serving."

Bouchard’s comeback was arguably even more impressive against clay-court specialist Carla Suarez Navarro as she recovered from deficits in the first and third sets to win 7-6(4) 2-6 7-5. The Canadian trailed 5-2 in the opening set and 4-1 in the decider but showed her resilience to come through in two hours and 22 minutes and reach her second successive Grand Slam semi-final. Bouchard, 20, double-faulted on her first match point and missed another before No.14 Suarez Navarro netted to hand the Canadian victory.

"I want to thank everyone here for creating such a great atmosphere," said Bouchard. "I didn't expect to play such a tough match. She played really well and is a great clay court player. At the end of the third set I thought I was getting the upper hand began to believe that I could win. I'm just excited to be in the semi-finals and to stay a little longer in Paris. I'm just going to enjoy myself in the semi-finals."

Sharapova has won both previous meetings with Bouchard, beating her in straight sets in the French Open last year and also in Miami.


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