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Sharapova stunned by Pavlyuchenkova in Paris

ESPN staff
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Maria Sharapova lost the match after serving two consecutive double faults © Getty Images
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Top seed Maria Sharapova was beaten in the semi-finals of the Paris Open after losing 4-6 6-3 6-4 to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in a thrilling encounter.

Sharapova, who had yet to drop a set at the event in wins over Daniela Hantuchova and Kirsten Flipkens, took the opening set despite seeing her opponent come from 4-1 down.

However, the four-time Grand Slam champion surrendered the second after Pavlyuchenkova broke in the opening game and sealed it with a fine backhand winner.

And after the pair traded breaks in the final set, Sharapova with two consecutive faults buckled under the pressure to lose out to her Russian compatriot.

"I'm very happy with my performance today," Pavlyuchenkova said after the win. "Maria's so tough and she's always fighting until the end, so I'm happy I stuck with my game and kept fighting out there as well."

On her loss, Sharapova said: "I started the match really well, but as the match continued I wasn't doing the things that really helped me in the first set."

And on the double faults, she added: "They obviously came at the wrong time. When I was down in games in the first couple of sets I felt my serve really helped me, but in the third set I didn't keep that level up. I definitely need to improve that percentage going forward."

Pavlyuchenkova will face Sara Errani, who has made it to the final for the second year running after edging out Alize Cornet 7-6(3) 3-6 7-6(5).

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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