Tennis: Sharapova into semi-finals
Maria Sharapova's transformation from a player who once said she felt like "a cow on ice" when competing on clay to a major contender for the French Open is all but complete.
The 24-year-old Russian reached the semi-finals yesterday with a crushing 6-0 6-3 victory over Germany's Andrea Petkovic.
Sharapova will attempt to reach her first Roland Garros final this afternoon at the expense of Li Na, who beat Victoria Azarenka, the highest ranked player left in the competition, 7-5 6-2.
Francesca Schiavone, the defending champion, faces France's Marion Bartoli in the other semi-final.
"I've improved on this surface," said Sharapova, who never looked back from a sensational start. "There's no doubt as the years went on that I felt better and better.
"I feel like I've physically overcome many challenges that maybe a few years ago would have been tough for me."