Skip to main content

Rivals reunited: Kvitova faces Sharapova rematch in Melbourne semifinals

January 25, 2012 -- Updated 1230 GMT (2030 HKT)
Second seed Petra Kvitova is seeking to move to the top of the world rankings for the first time.
Second seed Petra Kvitova is seeking to move to the top of the world rankings for the first time.
  • The 2011 Wimbledon finalists Petra Kvitova and Maria Sharapova will meet again
  • World No. 2 Kvitova and No. 4 Sharapova won their Australian Open quarterfinals
  • Czech Kvitova beat Italy's Sara Errani, while Sharapova defeated Ekaterina Makarova
  • Kvitova has won two of their three meetings, including the Wimbledon final

(CNN) -- World No. 2 Petra Kvitova and former No. 1 Maria Sharapova are set for a rematch of the 2011 Wimbledon final after both reached the last four of the Australian Open on Wednesday.

The two players are battling to become the new top-ranked woman following Caroline Wozniacki's quarterfinal defeat by defending champion Kim Clijsters on Tuesday.

Kvitova is the rising force in the female game after claiming her first major title with victory over Russia's three-time grand slam champion at the All England Club last July, and then winning the season-ending WTA Championships.

The Czech booked her spot in the Melbourne semifinals with a 6-4 6-4 win over Italian surprise package Sara Errani, who has never previously been beyond the third round of a grand slam.

A nervous Kvitova hit 22 unforced errors in the first set against the world No. 48 before triumphing in one hour and 51 minutes.

Becker on the Australian Open

By comparison, fourth seed Sharapova had a convincing 6-2 6-3 win against her 56th-ranked compatriot Ekaterina Makarova, who eliminated five-time champion Serena Williams in the fourth round.

Kvitova said her win on the grass of Wimbledon will count for nothing ahead of Thursday's rematch on a hard-court surface.

"I think it was a really good match from both sides," the 21-year-old said of last year's clash. "How I can compare? I can't because it was grass and here is the hard court.

"I mean, it will be similar match as the Wimbledon, but still it can be different. But tactics will be the same as the Wimbledon."

I've lost to her the last couple of times ... I think she is the one to beat right now
Maria Sharapova

Sharapova is searching for a first grand slam title since her win in Melbourne four years ago, which followed her breakthrough success at Wimbledon as a 17-year-old in 2004 and her 2006 U.S. Open triumph.

The 24-year-old has lost two of her three matches against Kvitova, including their last clash in Tokyo in September.

"I've lost to her the last couple of times, obviously the big one in Wimbledon," she said. "I think she is the one to beat right now.

"She's playing the best tennis in her career, coming off so many wins last year. I'm looking forward to the match-up -- I don't like losing so many times in a row, so I'll try my best."

Thursday's other semifinal will pit third seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus -- who can also claim the No. 1 ranking -- against Belgian 11th seed Clijsters.

Part of complete coverage on
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 0114 GMT (0914 HKT)
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
Rafael Nadal is still the "King of Clay" -- but his crown has slipped a bit, says CNN's Will Edmonds.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 2359 GMT (0759 HKT)
British tennis player Elena Baltacha won 11 ITF Pro Circuit titles during her 16-year playing career.
The Ukrainian-born, British tennis star loses fight against liver cancer, just a few weeks after revealing that she was battling the disease.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
Suisse's Belinda Bencic returns the ball to France's Alize Cornet during the second match of the Fed Cup first round tennis tie France vs Switzerland on February 8, 2014 at the Pierre de Coubertin stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis."
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1800 GMT (0200 HKT)
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 14: Rafael Nadal of Spain sails a boat during day two of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 14, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.
March 21, 2014 -- Updated 1107 GMT (1907 HKT)
Tennis star Venus Williams reveals how she is beating the autoimmune disease that derailed her career.
March 5, 2014 -- Updated 1014 GMT (1814 HKT)
After two decades dedicated to the game, Amelie Mauresmo wants a second life -- one away from tennis.
Rafael Nadal of Spain wipes his face after losing his men's final match against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during day 14 of the 2014 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.
Almost five years to the day after reducing Roger Federer to tears at the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal shed a few in his own loser's speech.