Sharapova, Ivanovic reach Brisbane semis

Brisbane, Australia ( – Former world No. 1s Maria
Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic were a pair of quarterfinal winners Thursday at
the season-opening $1 million Brisbane International tennis event.

The top-seeded 2014 French Open champion Sharapova shut down seventh-seeded
Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 6-1, 6-3, while the second-seeded Ivanovic
had to come from behind to beat 2012 Brisbane champ Kaia Kanepi of Estonia
4-6, 6-4, 6-3 on the hardcourts at Queensland Tennis Centre.

“Maybe I made a little too many unforced errors in the beginning, but I
finished strong,” Sharapova said after beating Suarez Navarro.

Sharapova’s semifinal opponent on Friday will be rising Ukrainian Elina
Svitolina, while Ivanovic will encounter surprising American Varvara

“She’s a young girl that’s already in the Top 30 with a tremendous amount of
potential, and someone you’ll be seeing in the top very soon,” Sharapova said
of Svitolina. “She definitely has a good game. She’s an all-around player.
It’ll be a tough match-up for me, but one that I’m looking forward to,

Two other quarterfinal results saw Svitolina oust third-seeded German left-
hander Angelique Kerber 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 and Lepchenko handle Russian lucky
loser Alla Kudryavtseva 7-5, 7-5.

Brisbane serves as a tune-up for the Aussie Open, which will begin January
19 in Melbourne.