Maria Sharapova celebrates her win over Kaia Kanepi in the quarterfinals of the Brisbane International, January 2. Reuters
Serena Williams will look to continue her dominance over Maria Sharapova when the two tennis superstars clash in the semifinals of the Brisbane International.
Sharapova, making a return from injury, has done pretty well to reach to final four, fighting past former winner Kaia Kanepi in the quarterfinals 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 on Thursday.
"She's a really tough opponent," Sharapova said of Kanepi. "I've had fairly good success against her in the past, but she's had her bit of success. She's won this tournament before, so I knew that she would be able to play on this court and she enjoys it.
"For me it was a slow start. I wasn't very sharp in the beginning. I'm happy I pulled it through, and at this stage it's a good match for me to get through."
Next in line is of course the best women's player in the world at the moment, and the player that everyone wants to beat Serena Williams.
Sharapova has not enjoyed too much success against Williams, who enjoys a lopsided 14-2 win-loss record against the Russian.
"I haven't had a lot of success against her in the past," Sharapova said. "But it's the first tournament of the year. I came here wanting to play as many matches as I could and wanting to play the best.
"There's no substitute for getting ready for a Grand Slam than competing against the best. She's been on a roll the last couple of years with her level. I competed against her a few times last year; didn't work.
"You always hope that you can go out and give yourself a chance to do better next time."
Williams entered the semis courtesy a 6-3, 6-3 cruise over Dominika Cibulkova, with the American bringing out the big guns with her serve, which was on point right from the off and lashed out 12 aces.
"It felt really good," Williams said. "She was returning really well. She stays so low to the ground and does so many good things, especially off the ground.
"She's so powerful. So of all opponents, I definitely wouldn't have expected to do so well on serve against her. But I was able to serve really well."
Preceding the high-profile semifinal encounter is Roger Federer's match against Australian Marinko Matosevic, with the Swiss looking to start 2014 on a winning note by going all the way in Brisbane.
"I expect myself to play a bit better in the next match, even though today [Thursday] was already very good for a first match in so many weeks," said Federer who eased past Finn Jarko Nieminen in the previous round.
"I mean, I would assume he gets some support, you know," added Federer on his Australian quarterfinal opponent. "I don't know if he's from Brisbane or not. He's not? That's good."
Where to Watch Live
Maria Sharapova vs Serena Williams is scheduled for an 8.30 pm local time (3 pm IST) start with no live coverage on Ten Sports and Ten HD in India. The match can also be live streamed online around the world HERE. The Roger Federer vs Marinko Matosevic match is scheduled for a 7 pm local time (1.30 pm IST) start, and can be watched via live streaming online courtesy Tennis TV HERE. The rest of the matches of the tournament, including the Victoria Azarenka vs Jelena Jankovic semifinal can also be live streamed from the above links.
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