Sharapova reaches Cincinnati semifinals

August 19, 2011 01:31 PM
MASON, OH - AUGUST 19: Maria Sharapova of Russia returns a shot to Samantha Stosur of Australia during the Western & Southern Open.

MASON, Ohio (AP) Fourth-seeded Maria Sharapova of Russia advanced easily into the semifinals of the Western & Southern Open with a 6-3, 6-2 win over 10th-seeded Samantha Stosur on Friday.

The seventh-ranked Sharapova, who lost in last year's finals to Kim Clijsters, won a challenge on match point to improve to 3-0 this year and 9-0 in her career against Stosur.

The 10th-ranked Stosur was making her first appearance at this U.S. Open tuneup after losing in the final last week at Toronto.

Sharapova will play the winner of the match between unseeded Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia and No. 2-seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia, the highest seed remaining in the tournament.

Fourth-seeded Andy Murray, the 2008 champion, advanced to the men's semifinals with a 6-3, 6-3 win over 10th-seeded Gilles Simon of France. The Scot, who has beaten Simon in seven consecutive matches, will play the winner of the match between second-seeded Rafael Nadal of Spain and No. 7-seeded Mardy Fish of the United States.