Nadia Petrova took Maria Sharapova close in their US Open quarter-final but the top seed had just enough to edge past her Russian counterpart.
Sharapova, who had not lost a set prior to this match, took two-and-a-half hours to clinch a 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 victory over the ninth-seeded Petrova. "I knew it was going to be tough," said Sharapova, who had 48 unforced errors - two less than her opponent. "I felt like I was making too many errors. I managed to get it back [in the third set]."
The 18-year-old will now face fourth seed Kim Clijsters after the Belgian showed great resolve to knock out tenth-seeded American Venus Williams 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 in a quarter-final match that went well past midnight local time, Scotsman reports.
After falling behind 3-1 and 4-2 in the second set, Clijsters clawed back to win five of the last six games and even the match.
Williams had her serve broken eight times and committed 51 unforced errors. Clijsters is playing in her first US Open since 2003, as injuries have plagued her over the past two years. She deemed the win the biggest of her career. "At this stage, after my [wrist] surgery [last year], I enjoy each win much more."