Sharapova survives to reach Brisbane semifinals - NBC Sports

Sharapova survives to reach Brisbane semifinals
Maria Sharapova of Russia plays a shot in her match against Kaia Kanepi of Estonia during the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)
January 1, 2014, 11:01 pm

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) Maria Sharapova recovered her serve and her nerve to beat Kaia Kanepi 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 on Thursday and advance to the Brisbane International semifinals.

The third-seeded Sharapova, playing just her second competitive match since August, was broken three times and made a rash of errors in the first set against the No. 30-ranked Kanepi of Estonia, who won the Brisbane tournament in 2012.

Sharapova dropped serve again to open the second set but wasn't broken again for the remainder of the 2-hour match. She fired her ninth ace on her second match point after wasting her first chance to close it out with a long floating backhand - her 33rd unforced error.

She'll next play the winner of the quarterfinal between top-ranked Serena Williams and ninth-seeded Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia.

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