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PARIS (AP) — Maria Sharapova shrugged off losing the first six games and swept the last four to reach the French Open semifinals.
The defending champion overcame a miserable start in the quarterfinals Wednesday to beat Jelena Jankovic, 0-6, 6-4, 6-3.
It was the first victory of Sharapova’s career after losing an opening set 6-0. Her opponent Thursday will be two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, who reached her first Roland Garros semifinal by beating Maria Kirilenko 7-6 (3), 6-2.
The No. 2-seeded Sharapova earned her first French Open title a year ago to complete a career Grand Slam. She has won 12 matches in a row at Roland Garros, where her 42-9 record is the best among active women.
“Obviously it only gets tougher from here,” Sharapova said, “but I’m really happy I’m at this stage again.”
She’s 5-7 against No. 3 Azarenka.
“It’s our first meeting here,” Azarenka said, “so it’s definitely going to be exciting and interesting.”
No. 1 Serena Williams, seeking her first French Open title in 11 years, plays 2012 runner-up Sara Errani in the other semifinal.
The warmest weather of the tournament greeted the quarterfinalists, and Jankovic quickly had Sharapova sweating.
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