New York, Sept 6 : Maria Sharapova came from behind after a rain delay for the second straight match, advancing to the U.S. Open semifinals with a three-set victory over Marion Bartoli.
The four-time Grand Slam champion won 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Wednesday, a day after the quarterfinal started.
Sharapova had trailed 4-0 when rain halted play. After more wet weather delayed the restart, she couldn't erase the deficit in the first set but gritted out the win to improve to 12-0 in three-set matches this year.
"I think that rain break gave me a few hours to think about things," Sharapova said in an on-court interview afterward. "I came out so flat yesterday; she came out on fire. She's so tough."
The 11th-seeded Bartoli was in the U.S. Open quarterfinals for the first time.
In the fourth round Sunday, the third-seeded Russian was down a break in the third set to Nadia Petrova before rallying after an hour-long break. She next faces top-ranked Victoria Azarenka, who finished her match Tuesday.
Half of the other semifinal is also set after Sara Errani beat good friend and doubles partner Roberta Vinci.
The normally feisty Errani didn't pump her fist or even smile after clinching the 6-2, 6-4 victory. The two embraced at the net afterward, the 10th-seeded Errani looking far more relieved than joyful.
Their matchup guaranteed an Italian woman would reach the semifinals at this tournament for the first time in the Open era, which began in 1968.
Wearing identical pink and black outfits in a mostly empty Louis Armstrong Stadium after rain disrupted the schedule, the two played a subdued match that often felt more like a practice than a Grand Slam quarterfinal.
Errani and Vinci, who won a French Open doubles title this year, have reached the semifinals together here.
Scheduled to follow Sharapova and Bartoli on Arthur Ashe Stadium was Andy Roddick, trying to postpone retirement against Juan Martin del Potro. The two were in a first-set tiebreaker when rain suspended play Tuesday night.