Maria Sharapova, seeded 4th at the Western & Southern Open, enjoyed her ninth victory over 10th seed Sam Stosur today. Stosur has never beaten Sharapova, and in today's 6-3, 6-2 quarterfinal, she was never able to get control of many of the rallies. The deficit in Stosur's defensive play made it relatively easy for Sharapova to keep the rallies short.
Sharapova's opponent in the semifinals will be countrywoman and 2nd seed Vera Zvonareva, who defeated Daniela Hantuchova 6-3, 7-6 in the quarterfinals. Hantuchova did a lot of things well--she always does--but her second serve failed her again and again. Tomorrow's match will be the tenth meeting between the two* Russians; Sharapova leads their competition 6-3.
Jelena Jankovic, who was clearly exhausted after last night's multi-faceted performance, got a break today when Peng Shuai gave her a walkover. Peng continues (for years, it seems) to suffer from a hip injury. Jankovic, seeded 13th, will play 9th seed Andrea Petkovic; Petkovic defeated Nadia Petrova 7-6, 6-1 today. Petkovic has already defeated Jankovic twice this year.
*Note to Lindsay Davenport: Maria Sharapova's nationality is defined by Maria Sharapova--not by you.