WTA Porsche Grand Prix: Maria Sharapova beats Agnieszka Radwanska to keep her title defence on course in Stuttgart

Last Updated: 26/04/14 8:28pm

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Maria Sharapova: Russian still searching for first title of 2014

Maria Sharapova: Russian still searching for first title of 2014

Sky Bet

Defending champion Maria Sharapova finally saw off the challenge of top seed Agnieszka Radwanska on her eighth match point in the quarter-finals of the Porsche Grand Prix.

Sharapova came through 6-4 6-3 in one hour and 39 minutes to extend her winning streak on the indoor clay in Stuttgart to 11 matches.

The Russian edged a first set that started with seven straight breaks and then moved 5-2 up in the second, only to falter with the winning line in sight.

World No 3 Radwanska produced her best tennis in the penultimate game, fighting off six match points to break Sharapova's serve.

But the Pole fell 15-40 down on her own delivery in the next game and Sharapova, after wasting another match point with a wild forehand, clinched victory with a forehand winner into the corner.

World No 9 Sharapova is without a title this year and defeat would have seen her fall out of the top 10.

'Big victory'

"This was a big victory for me, the biggest since my injury," said Sharapova, who returned late last year after missing more than four months following shoulder surgery.

Her semi-final opponent will be eighth seed Sara Errani, who was leading 6-3 6-7 (6/8) 3-0 when Carla Suarez Navarro pulled out of their quarter-final with a hand injury.

On the other side of the draw, ninth seed Ana Ivanovic outlasted 2009 Stuttgart champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3 2-6 6-4.

Ivanovic, who has already won two titles this year, will take on fellow Serb Jelena Jankovic in the last four.

Fifth seed Jankovic beat Russia's Alisa Kleybanova 6-4 6-3.

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