Maria is through to the semis of the US Open in New York for the third time as she defeated No.11 seed Marion Bartoli of France 3-6 6-3 6-4 in a match time of two hours and 24 minutes.
Some rain delayed the match by a couple of hours but when play resumed at 4-0 15-30, Maria immediately broke Bartoli’s serve in the first game. It wasn’t enough though as Bartoli took two of the next four games to take the set 6-3.
After a trade of breaks at the beginning of the second set, both players held their serves until Maria finally got the break to lead 5-3. In the next game, Maria held her serve to love to take the second set 6-3.
Maria broke Bartoli’s serve to 15 with a forehand winner to lead 2-1 in the third set but was broken back in the next game as Bartoli levelled the set 2-2. Bartoli held her serve in the next game and at 3-2, Bartoli had a couple of breakpoints which Maria saved as she held her serve to level the set 3-3 and Bartoli then held her serve in the next game. At 3-4 down, Maria won three straight games to book her semi-final spot.
In Friday’s semi-final, Maria will play No.1 seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus. Maria has played Azarenka nine times before and Azarenka leads the series 5-4. Here are the matches they have played against each other:
Moscow 2007 R2: Azarenka won 7-6 6-2
Los Angeles 2009 R2: Maria won 6-7 6-4 6-2
Beijing 2009 R2: Maria won 6-3 6-7 7-5
Stanford 2010 Final: Azarenka won 6-4 6-1
Miami 2011 Final: Azarenka won 6-1 6-4
Rome 2011 Quarter-Final: Maria won 4-6 3-0 ret.
Australian Open 2012 Final: Azarenka won 6-3 6-0
Indian Wells 2012 Final: Azarenka won 6-2 6-3
Stuttgart 2012 Final: Maria won 6-1 6-4