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Sharapova brushes aside Kanepi to set up Kvitova clash

Maria Sharapova needs two more victories to win the French Open title and complete a career grand slam

Story highlights

  • Maria Sharapova to meet Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in French Open semis
  • Sharapova defeats Kaia Kanepi in straight sets to take her place in the final four
  • Kvitova wins hard-fought clash with qualifier Yaroslava Shvedova 3-6 6-2 6-4
  • The other semifinal is between No. 6 seed Samantha Stosur and Italian Sara Errani

Maria Sharapova remains on course to complete a career slam after she set up a French Open semifinal showdown with Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.

The Russian dispatched Kaia Kanepi, from Estonia, 6-2 6-3 and now needs just two more victories to join an exclusive club in the game who have won all four grand slam titles.

The world No. 2 has reached the final four at Roland Garros twice before and beat Kvitova, from the Czech Republic, in the semifinals in Stuttgart -- a tournament she went on to win.

But Kvitova's only grand slam win to date came at last year's Wimbledon tournament, when she beat Sharapova in straight sets in the final.

"It's nice to be in this position again," Sharapova told the WTA Tour's official website. "It's my third time in the semifinals here.

"Petra's an extremely tough opponent, someone I have had good success in our last couple of meetings, but they're always tough matches.

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    "The last one in Stuttgart was a tough two-setter for me -- she had opportunities in that second set and when she's confident, she's dangerous. It's going to be another level. I hope I can raise my level, as well."

    None of the four French Open semifinalists has tasted success in Paris, but Sharapova has the most major championships to her name, with three overall.

    The Russian never looked in any trouble against Kanepi, breaking her opponent seven times en route to a swift victory, and the 26-year-old admitted she could not live with Sharapova's power.

    "She attacked all the time, I didn't have any time to hit my shots and I just couldn't get any rhythm out there," Kanepi explained.

    "I was also very nervous and I am just sorry I didn't get to spend more time on the court. Maria is playing really well, she can win the tournament."

    Kvitova, the No. 4 seed, dropped the first set against qualifier Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan, who knocked out defending champion Li Na in the previous round, but battled back to win 3-6 6-2 6-4.

    It ended Shvedova's hopes of becoming the first qualifier ever to reach the Roland Garros semis, and propelled Kvitova closer to her second grand slam final appearance.

    "Every point that we played was really tough," Kvitova said in a courtside interview. "I knew that I had to change my game.

    "It wasn't easy and I'm really happy that my serve helped me and I played my aggressive game again."

    The other semifinal sees Australia's Samantha Stosur, the No. 6 seed, square off against Italian Sara Errani, the No. 21 seed.

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