NEW YORK - Third-seed Maria Sharapova advanced to the 2012 U.S. Open semifinals on Wednesday with a three-set victory over 11th seed Marion Bartoli.
After rain delays, Sharapova lost the first set but came roaring back to win, 3-6 6-3 6-4. The Russian will face top seed Victoria Azarenka, who defeated defending champion Samantha Stosur.
Shaparova double-faulted in the final game and fell behind 15-30 after a forehand went long, but the Russian was able to battle back. On match point, Sharapova's hard serve was shanked wide by Bartoli, and Sharapova lifted her arms in triumph.
The match seemed to be a battle of ground strokes, as both competitors spent much of the afternoon smashing shots to the corners. Sharapova finished with 44 winners, while Bartoli hit 18, but Sharapova committed 35 unforced errors compared to 25 from Bartoli.
Sharapova and Bartoli both had just 10 shots at the net. Sharapova served up 10 aces while Bartoli, who uses a rather unorthodox serve, managed just two.
Sharapova is seeking her first U.S. Open title since 2006. She has won every grand slam once.
For Bartoli, this 2012 U.S. Open marks her best result at the tournament. The French star was a finalist at the 2007 Wimbledon Championships, and made the semifinals of the 2011 French Open.