Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sharapova continues impressive resurgence

WIMBLEDON, England — Maria Sharapova's coach called it "a statement."

For one hour of excellence, Sharapova played, and sounded, just as she did when she was a teenager, when it seemed nothing could stop her.

Her powerful groundstrokes cut through the grass, landing right where she wanted. Her solid service returns flummoxed her overmatched opponent. And her shrieks bounced around Centre Court, its retractable roof shut to keep out the rain.

Sharapova beat 24th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova 6-1, 6-1 on Tuesday to reach the Wimbledon semifinals for the first time since 2006, in the days before she needed surgery on her right shoulder and dealt with doubts about her future.

"I would have loved for it not to have taken that long, but I'm not complaining. It's the road that you sometimes have to take. It's not always straight; there are a lot of zigzags. A lot of time, you feel like it's a dead end," said Sharapova, who won her first Grand Slam title at age 17 at Wimbledon in 2004.

"I've worked really hard to get in this stage, but I'm not saying this is where I want to end. I want to keep going."

A day after the Williams sisters and No. 1-ranked Caroline Wozniacki were sent home, the three women responsible for those upsets all lost:

• Cibulkova, who beat Wozniacki, held serve to open her match against Sharapova then lost the next eight games.

• No. 9 Marion Bartoli, who beat Serena, faded down the stretch and lost 6-4, 6-7 (7-4), 6-1 to wild-card entry Sabine Lisicki, the first German woman to reach Wimbledon's semifinals since Steffi Graf in 1999.

• No. 32 Tsvetana Pironkova, who beat Venus, was eliminated 6-3, 6-7 (7-5), 6-2 by No. 8 Petra Kvitova, a semifinalist for the second straight year.

Thursday, Sharapova meets Lisicki and Kvitova faces No. 4 Victoria Azarenka, who got to her first Grand Slam semifinal with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over unseeded Tamira Paszek in the day's last match.

"Looking at the rankings, everybody says, 'You should have been already in the semifinals,' " Azarenka said. "It was a great win for me."

Nadal okay

Buoyed by the good news that his painful left foot isn't seriously injured, top-seeded Rafael Nadal put in about an hour of practice a day before facing Tampa's Mardy Fish in the quarterfinals. Toni Nadal, Rafael's uncle and coach, said his nephew is "100 percent; even if he was 50 percent, I would tell you he's 100 percent."

.Today

Wimbledon

All England Club, London

Key matches

Men: No. 1 Rafael Nadal vs. No. 10 Mardy Fish, No. 2 Novak Djokovic vs. Bernard Tomic, No. 3 Roger Federer vs. No. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 4 Andy Murray vs. Feliciano Lopez

TV: 7 a.m. and 1 p.m., ESPN2; 10 a.m., Ch. 8

Sharapova continues impressive resurgence 06/28/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 6:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Alex Volkov with a top-six showcase for Lightning

    Blogs

    Alex Volkov entered Lightning camp a bit of an unknown, the second-round pick from Russia in his first NHL camp.

    Alex Volkov (79) works to stop Florida Panthers center Denis Malgin (62) during the second period of Sunday's game in Tampa.
  2. How Jameis Winston's turnovers doomed the Bucs again

    Bucs

    The Bucs' rise or fall is based on the play of quarterback Jameis Winston. His failure to take care of the football was arguably the biggest factor in their 34-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings Sunday.

    Jameis Winston has turned the football over 25 times in 17 road games. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
  3. HomeTeam 25: Volleyball rankings for Tampa Bay

    Volleyball Preps

    1. Plant (6-1)

    Fivay's Kirbea Harrell leads her team in kills and digs this season. (Lance Rothstein, Times)
  4. NCAA coaches among 10 charged with fraud and corruption

    College

    NEW YORK — Four college basketball coaches were among those facing federal charges Tuesday in a wide probe of fraud and corruption in the NCAA, authorities said.

    In this March 15, 2012, file photo, San Diego State assistant coach Tony Bland, left, talks during NCAA college basketball practice in Columbus, Ohio. Bland was identified in court papers, and is among 10 people facing federal charges in Manhattan federal court, Tuesday in a wide probe of fraud and corruption in the NCAA, authorities said. [AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File]