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Sharapova fights back to seal semi-final spot

ESPN staff
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Maria Sharapova won the French Open in 2012 © Getty Images
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Maria Sharapova is into the semi-finals of the French Open after the former champion came from a set down to beat Garbine Muguruza 1-6 7-5 6-1.

Sharapova, winner in 2012, was stunned in the early stages as Muguruza broke her three times to take the first set in just 27 minutes.

Muguruza, who knocked out top seed and last year's champion Serena Williams in the second round, met greater resistance in the second set with Sharapova breaking early, but the Spaniard broke back for 3-3.

Sharapova then served to stay in the match at 6-5 down but held before breaking to turn the tables. She wasted two break points before setting up her third with her third ace of the match, and this time made no mistake, taking the second set 7-5 in three minutes shy of an hour.

The Russian then broke for 2-1 in the decider to lead for the first time in the match, and secured a second break in the fifth game after Muguruza hit the net to go 4-1 in front. Muguruza was unable to fight back as Sharapova stormed to victory to book her place in the last four for the fourth year in a row.

Sharapova will take on Eugenie Bouchard in the semi-finals after the 20-year-old Canadian beat Carla Suarez Navarro 7-6(4) 2-6 7-5.

"I came across a player playing with such confidence and I knew it was going to be a tough match," Sharapova said.

"I had a tough start but luckily I had a good finish. She was playing so aggressive at the start, but also I wasn't really helping myself with my movement or serving."

Bouchard, who reached the last four of the Australian Open at the start of the year, trailed 4-1 in the third and final set, but fought back to clinch victory on her third match point.

"I want to thank everyone here for creating such a great atmosphere," a delighted Bouchard told the crowd on Suzanne Lenglen.

"I didn't expect to play such a tough match. She played really well and is a great clay court player.

"At the end of the third set I thought I was getting the upper hand began to believe that I could win. I'm just excited to be in the semi-finals and to stay a little longer in Paris. I'm just going to enjoy myself in the semi-finals."

Eugenie Bouchard is into her second Grand Slam semi-final of the year © Getty Images
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