Pacific Open: Sharapova through to face Hingis

Third seed Sharapova overpowered Germany's Anna-Lena Groenefeld 6-1, 6-3 to reach a mouth-watering semi-final.

india Updated: Mar 16, 2006 12:36 IST

Third seed Maria Sharapova overpowered Germany's Anna-Lena Groenefeld 6-1, 6-3 on Wednesday to reach a mouth-watering semi-final with Martina Hingis at the Pacific Life Open.

Former Swiss world number one Hingis earlier eclipsed another Russian Dinara Safina 6-3, 6-4 to reach the last four.

In the men's field, Andy Roddick's slump in form continued when he was knocked out in the fourth round by 24th-seeded Russian Igor Andreev.

The world number three went down 6-4 6-7 6-1 and his conqueror will next face American James Blake, who advanced when Germany's Tommy Haas retired with food poisoning while trailing 6-3 3-0.

Top seed Roger Federer raced past France's Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-4 to book his place in the last eight, while number two Rafael Nadal of Spain overcame a twisted ankle to beat 20th seed Sebastien Grosjean of France 6-4 6-2.

Federer will face sixth seed Ivan Ljubicic after the Croatian out-classed compatriot and 21st seed Mario Ancic 6-3 6-4.

Nadal -- who pulled out of the doubles because of his injury -- will face Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus, who continued his fine form, defeating Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-4 6-1 to reach the quarter-finals.


In another upset, Thailand's Paradorn Srichaphan upended fourth seed David Nalbandian of Argentina 6-7 6-3 6-2.

Paradorn will face 22nd seed Jarkko Nieminen of Finland, who ended former world number one Marat Safin's run with a 6-4 6-3 victory.

Former world number one Roddick, who has yet to win a title this year, was furious with himself, swearing and breaking his racket in the sixth game of the final set and receiving a point penalty.

After playing a fine tiebreak to level the contest at one set all, Roddick collapsed in the first game of the third set, failing to convert three break points.

Flustered by his inability to deliver, the American completely imploded.

"I don't know what the hell I did. I went on walkabout and gave up the next game. It was just like a blur."

Hingis secured her 20th win since her comeback from a three-year absence from the tour with a polished display against Safina.

"Today probably wasn't the prettiest game, but it was effective," Hingis said.

Sharapova and five times-grand slam champion Hingis have already played twice this year, with Hingis taking the Russian down in the semi-finals of Tokyo and Sharapova getting revenge with a semi-final win in Dubai.

"You're playing a great champion, someone that's obviously achieved a lot in her career," Sharapova said. "And she's still young. Any opponent that I see across the net, I cannot think about whether they're terrible or they're great. I can't put that in my mind."

Top seed Justine Henin-Hardenne will play Argentina's Gisela Dulko in one quarter-final on Thursday, while Russia's Elena Dementieva will face Serbia's Ana Ivanovic in another.

First Published: Mar 16, 2006 12:36 IST