Maria Sharapova advances to BNP Paribas Open semifinals

As day dwindled into night and the auditory limits of tennis fans met the ultimate test, the quarterfinals of the women’s draw in the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells were completed.

Maria Sharapova of Russia out-hit and out-screeched her countrywoman, Maria Kirilenko, 3-6, 7-5, 6-2. At one point of particular high-pitched hitting, each player had upped her decibel level to near window-shattering. In the end, Sharapova not only kept screeching, but kept hitting the ball back deeper than Kirilenko.

That put her in the semifinals against 15th-seeded Ana Ivanovic, like Sharapova a former Grand Slam champion. Serbian Ivanovic advanced earlier in the day, beating Marion Bartoli of France, 6-3, 6-4. Sharapova is seeded second.

The other semifinal, determined Wednesday, will match German Angelique Kerber and top-seeded Belarusian Victoria Azarenka. Kerber is seeded18th.


In the Sharapova-Kirilenko match, Kirilenko missed the box with her second serve on match point. That brought the following match summary: Three hours and five minutes of screeching that ended on a double fault.

In the men’s side, No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia became the first to gain the semifinals when he beat Nicolas Almagro of Spain, 6-3, 6-4. His semifinal opponent was to be determined later Thursday in a night match between American John Isner and Frenchman Gilles Simon.


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Maria Sharapova advances to BNP Paribas Open final