Tokyo, February 2:
Top-ranked Maria Sharapova rallied from a set down to cruise past Japanâ€™s Ai Sugiyama 4-6, 6-0, 6-1 on Friday and advance to the Pan Pacific Open semi-finals.
Sugiyama broke Sharapova to win the first set but was no match for the No 1-seed from then on. Sharapova will face fifth-seeded Ana Ivanovic of Serbia on Saturday. Ivanovic outlasted fourth-seeded compatriot Jelena Jankovic 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Second-seeded Martina Hingis coasted to a 6-0, 6-1 win over Australiaâ€™s Samantha Stosur to advance to the last four. Hingis will next face defending champion Elena Dementieva of Russia, who downed Italyâ€™s Roberta Vinci 6-1, 6-2.
As in Thursdayâ€™s match against Francesca Schiavone, Sharapova struggled with her serve, conceding 14 double faults and hitting just one ace. Once again, her coach Michael Joyce had some advice between sets. In their only previous meeting, Sharapova beat Sugiyama in the 2004 Wimbledon quarterfinals.
Sharapova said she didnâ€™t let her serving problems get the better of her. â€œI worried about the serve a little too much in the first set,â€ Sharapova said. â€œThere are going to be days when your serve isnâ€™t working and when that happens you just have to concentrate on the things that are going well.â€
CHILE: Australian Open finalist Fernando Gonzalez beat Olivier Patience 5-7, 6-0, 6-4 in round-robin play to advance to the quarter-finals of the Movistar Open. Gonzalez, the top-seeded Chilean player, will face seventh-seeded Albert Montanes, a 6-3, 7-5 winner over fellow Spaniard Oscar Hernandez.
Argentinaâ€™s Carlos Berlocq advanced with a 7-6 (4), 6-2 win over Ivan Navarro Pastor of Spain and Martin Vassallo Arguello, also from Argentina, cruised past Spaniard Albert Portas, 6-1, 6-1. Also making the quarters was Igor Andreev of Russia, who rallied to defeat Diego Hartfield of Argentina 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.
In other quarter-final matches, Berlocq will play Vassallo Arguello, Argentinaâ€™s Sergio Roitman will meet Chileâ€™s Nicolas Massu and Luis Horna of Peru will face Andreev.