Sharapova, Halep One Match from Blockbuster Rome Final
by Staff | May 15th, 2015, 4:48 pm

Top 5 seeds Maria Sharapova and Simona Halep moved one step away from a blockbuster final with quarterfinal wins on Friday at the Italian Open in Rome.
The red-hot No. 2-seeded Halep rolled through Romanian qualifier Alexandra Dulgheru 6-1, 6-0, while the No. 3-seeded Sharapova was likewise impressive in a 6-3, 6-2 win over former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka.

“Today it was a pretty good match, I was very solid,” said Halep, who has lost seven games in three matches. “She was tired as well because she had many long matches before today, so I had an advantage over her. It’s not easy to play against one Romanian, but during the match you forget against who you play, just go on court and do your job.”

Halep in the Saturday semifinals will face No. 10 seed Carla Suarez Navarro, who was an upset winner Friday over No. 4 seed and Madrid winner Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-2.

“I played really solid today and sometimes aggressive, which is very important against Petra because she’s such an aggressive player herself,” said Suarez Navarro, the first player to reach 30 match wins this year. “I think overall this year I’ve been able to play more aggressively. It’s given me more confidence in my game — I just feel stronger.”

Halep leads Suarez Navarro in their head-to-head series 5-4, including their last three meetings.

“It will be tough because she’s playing amazingly,” Suarez Navarro said of Halep. “Always when we play we have long rallies, long matches. But you never know. I need to be 100 percent and it will be tough, for sure.”

Sharapova in the semis will meet fellow Russian and qualifier Daria Gavrilova, who on Friday beat fellow qualifier and American Christina McHale 6-2, 6-4.

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22 Comments for Sharapova, Halep One Match from Blockbuster Rome Final

Giles Says:

Huge congratulations to Carla Suarez Navarro beating Halep. Well done girl, you have really made my day!

Margot Says:

Absolutely cracking 3rd set between Carla and Simona. On a knife all the way through. Who knew who’d win?
Have always liked CSN and so pleased at how well she’s playing this year. Another “pocket rocket.”
Hilarious post match interview, a mixture of English, Italian and Spanish.
Whoever comes through on the other side will be laughing unfortunately because this was a killer and CSN was clutching her thigh.

Colin Says:

Amazingly gutsy performance from Suarez Navarro, who was carrying a leg strain, but the tournament could face another let-down now, because the Spanish girl might well pull out of the final against Sharapova.

SN’s single handed backhand is superb. How many times over the years were we told the shot was extinct?

ertorque Says:

SN’s single backhand is why I root for her. Such an rarity in these times. I wonder how many of the women in the Top 100 nowadays plays that shot?

A trivia question: When was the last time 2 players below 5feet 4inches contest in a semifinal of a 1000 event?

Margot Says:

Gosh, win or lose Gavrilova is absolutely terrific! Never heard of her, leave alone seen her play.
No horrible shrieking all the time either, just BELLOWs “Come on” when she wins a point.
Another Aussie import Wog Boy, I see. Lucky OZ.

lapinroyal Says:

Margot, Daria got the upper hand the last time they play…

Margot Says:

Really lapinroyal! Bloody hell!
Think Maria will win this one tho., she’s holding her serve easily whereas Daria has faced (down) quite a few break points.

Wog Boy Says:

Margot, we almost talked Prince Harry into staying here, he loved it so much caching crocodiles in Northern Territory:

Margot Says:

Lol Wog Boy do us all a favour and take all the royals! Please!

Wog Boy Says:

Margot, lol:)

Margot Says:

Maria just took the first set and Daria is carrying an injury. Probably all over now.

lapinroyal Says:

@WB, It’s not the croccodile, but Luke Saville that hold Daria down-under (What a point for Daria… first point on Maria drop shot?)

lapinroyal Says:

… and a second one…

lapinroyal Says:

Maria do smash?

lapinroyal Says:

…3 for Daria…

Margot Says:

Hope Cara has something left in the tank for tomorrow, or Maria will win rather easily.

lapinroyal Says:

Entertaining match… Daria is to watch. Just learn that she tore the anterior cruciate ligament in the right knee when she hyper-extended chasing a shot in Taiwan required surgery back in late 2013… Dreadful injury to any tennis players! Great season so far. I hope that she will heal that pulled abdominal muscle fast enough for French open.

jalep Says:

Thanks for the information about Daria.Gavrilova, Lapinroyal! But what’s this about Luke Saville and Daria?

Very much like Carla Suarez Navarro too. Love her one hander and style. Sounds like she’ll have little hope v Maria, though if she’s carrying an injury.

Speaking of little powerful players, any one know why Dominika.Cibulkova. is absent from the tournaments?

lapinroyal Says:

Roger break back to lead 2-3 over Stan… LOL

jalep Says:


So sweet about Luke and Daria. :D
Wish them luck.

Hope Domi. will be strong again by grass season.

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