This is what Maria Sharapova does. She digs herself a big hole in a match, then figures a way out, no matter what it takes.
She hits shots left-handed. Takes her time between points. Pumps her fists and screams “Come on!” after her opponent’s mistakes. And wins.
Did it in the fourth round at the French Open, turning things around by winning the last nine games. Did it Tuesday, too, reeling off nine of the last 10 games to put together a 1-6, 7-5, 6-1 victory over 35th-ranked Garbine Muguruza of Spain that put 2012 champion Sharapova in the semifinals at Roland Garros in Paris for the fourth consecutive year.
“When you just don’t feel like anything is going your way, you want to try to find a little door to get into,” Sharapova said. “Once you start feeling, you know, like you got your foot in the door, then it’s a little bit easier.”
After beating one 20-year-old, Sharapova now faces another, 18th-seeded Eugenie Bouchard of Canada, who earned a semifinal spot for the second straight Grand Slam tournament. Sharapova has 18 Grand Slam semifinals.
Like Sharapova, Bouchard was not fazed by falling behind in the quarterfinals. Bouchard trailed 5-2 in the first set, and 4-1 in the third, but beat No. 14 Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 7-6 (4), 2-6, 7-5.
“I’m just proud,” Bouchard said, “of the way I stayed in there.”
Novak Djokovic advanced to the French Open semifinals for the sixth time in his career, and he’ll be looking for only his second win at that stage.
The second-seeded Serb beat eighth-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada 7-5, 7-6 (5), 6-4 on Court Philippe Chatrier, the main stadium at Roland Garros.
Djokovic is a six-time major champion, but he still needs to win the French Open to complete a career Grand Slam.
18th seed in semis
Ernests Gulbis advanced to his first Grand Slam semifinal, beating sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.
The 18th-seeded Latvian, who beat Roger Federer in the previous round, has been playing some of the best tennis of his career at Roland Garros.