Maria Sharapova took the court Friday in Qatar before most Americans were awake, and defeated Samantha Stosur 6-2, 6-4 to advance to the semifinals of the Qatar Open. Her next opponent may be the Number 1 player in the world, if Serena Williams wins Friday morning as well.
Sharapova, ranked third, defeated the ninth-ranked Stosur by breaking her serve two of the Stosur’s first three service games en route to a 5-1 lead in the first set. Stosur held her next serve, but Sharapova made it a perfect four for four on service games to close out the set 6-2.
Stosur’s lost her serve two more times to fall behind 3-0 in the second set, but then made a match of it by storming back to a 4-3.
Sharapova then hit five aces to make it 5-3 and split the final two games to win the match and wait to see if Williams could win the next match of the day to become the first 31-year-old to be ranked No. 1 going into a semi-final.