Doha, Qatar: Maria Sharapova advanced to the semifinals of the Qatar Open by beating former U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur 6-2, 6-4 on Friday.
The third-ranked Russian, looking for her third title in Qatar, broke Stosur twice to lead 4-1 and then hit a backhand down the line to make it 5-1. She closed it out when the ninth-ranked Australian hit her return long.
Sharapova took a 3-0 lead in the second set, but Stosur staged a brief comeback. Stosur broke to make it 3-1 and had a chance to tie it at 4-4. But Sharapova hit five aces to win the game and won the set when her backhand clipped the net and dropped over.