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Serena Ships Out Sharapova

Friday, April 18, 2008

American Serena Williams may have looked and played a bit tentatively during the first 15-20 minutes of the quarterfinal match at the $1.34-million 35th Anniversary Tournament of the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina, but from then on out, it was on.

Both Serena and Russian Maria Sharapova produced a variety of wicked shots in the first and second sets. Shots that led to Serena capturing the first and Sharapova the second. Once the ladies hit the third set, it was all over but the shouting for Sharapova, she was defeated 7-5, 4-6, 6-1.

Serena moved into another gear for set three and there was nothing Sharapova could do to alter the course, she was going down. Sharapova made some efforts to get back into the set, but they were futile. She did manage to hold one game, it's better than a goose egg.

"It was definitely emotion," Williams said on her third set form. "I think I was more focused. I was ready to get off the court at that point, and I just was ready to play. I felt like I wasn't even playing before - I was just out there."

"I think she's playing really well on the clay; she's sliding better than she was last year, so it's good for her," Williams said. "I think I'm doing well on the clay too. It was a different experience than on hard or grass, obviously."

Serena will meet the winner of the Frenchwoman Alize Cornet and Hungarian Agnes Szavay match in Saturday's semifinals.

Cornet, an 18-year-old in her second season on the tour, also reached the semifinals at Amelia Island last week. Ranked No. 40, she has never faced Williams but watched her play Friday.

"I said 'Oh my God, if I play Serena tomorrow, I hope not to be ridiculous,'" she said. "I think I will do what I do usually. I will use my topspin forehand. I will run everywhere I can and I will just do my best and fight on every point."

AP Photo/Alice Keeney

Posted by Shelia

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