Maria battles into US Open semis

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