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.