Maria defeated no.8 seed Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium 6-2 6-2 in 69 minutes to advance to the semis of the Open GDF SUEZ in Paris, France.
In the first set, Maria got the first break in the first game when Flipkens hit a shot long. Flipkens hit a volley wide to give Maria another break to lead 3-0. In the final game of the set, Flipkens hit a return out as Maria won the set 6-2 in 37 minutes.
Maria broke in the first game of set two as Flipkens hit a shot wide. Flipkens re-broke in the fourth game as she levelled the set 2-2. At that point, Maria took control of the match as she won four straight games and won the match when Flipkens hit a return into the net.
In Saturday’s semi-final, Maria will play world no.26 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia. The match will start at 3.30 PM local time (9.30 AM EST & 6.30 AM PST). Maria has played the 22-year-old once before at Cincinnati in 2010 and Maria won 6-4 3-6 6-2.