Rafa, Maria: Different paths, similar semis

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Rafa, Maria: Different paths, similar semis

Top 4 seeds reach men’s Final Four; Sharapova returns to semifinals
Five-time champion Rafael Nadal, who lost to Robin Soderling in the fourth round in 2009 but beat him in last year’s final, is 43-1 at the clay-court Grand Slam after exacting 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (3) revenge on Soderling on Wednesday.
Maria Sharapova returned to the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in more than three years, beating Andrea Petkovic 6-0, 6-3. “There’s no doubt that I’ve improved on this surface,” she said.
“I feel I can do it,” Murray said of his chances Friday against No. 1 seed Rafael Nadal in the French Open semifinals at Roland Garros. “It’s just making sure that come Friday I play my best tennis. I have to play a very consistent match, and I have to be mentally strong.”
Li Na, who defeated fourth-seeded Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 6-2, is more of a surprise semifinalist at this year’s French Open. “So many people think I’m not so good in clay court, but I think now they should change a little bit,” Li said.

Rafa, Maria: Different paths, similar semis

TEN
Five-time champion Rafael Nadal, who lost to Robin Soderling in the fourth round in 2009 but beat him in last year’s final, is 43-1 at the clay-court Grand Slam after exacting 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (3) revenge on Soderling on Wednesday.
TEN
Maria Sharapova returned to the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in more than three years, beating Andrea Petkovic 6-0, 6-3. “There’s no doubt that I’ve improved on this surface,” she said.
TEN
“I feel I can do it,” Murray said of his chances Friday against No. 1 seed Rafael Nadal in the French Open semifinals at Roland Garros. “It’s just making sure that come Friday I play my best tennis. I have to play a very consistent match, and I have to be mentally strong.”
TEN
Li Na, who defeated fourth-seeded Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 6-2, is more of a surprise semifinalist at this year’s French Open. “So many people think I’m not so good in clay court, but I think now they should change a little bit,” Li said.
French Open

Wednesday at Stade Roland Garros, Paris
Purse: $24.99 million (Grand Slam)
Surface: Clay-Outdoor
Quarterfinals
Men’s Singles
Rafael Nadal (1), Spain, def. Robin Soderling (5), Sweden, 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (3).
Andy Murray (4), Britain, def. Juan Ignacio Chela, Argentina, 7-6 (2), 7-5, 6-2.
Women’s Singles
Maria Sharapova (7), Russia, def. Andrea Petkovic (15), Germany, 6-0, 6-3.
Li Na (6), China, def. Victoria Azarenka (4), Belarus, 7-5, 6-2.
Show-Court Schedule
Thursday
(play begins at 6 a.m. Mountain)
Court Philippe Chatrier
Women’s Singles Semifinals
Li Na (6), China, vs. Maria Sharapova (7), Russia
Marion Bartoli (11), France, vs. Francesca Schiavone (5), Italy
Mixed Doubles Championship
Katarina Srebotnik, Slovenia, and Nenad Zimonjic (1), Serbia, vs. Casey Dellacqua, Australia, and Scott Lipsky, Untied States

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