STUTTGART, Germany - Kristina Mladenovic turned around a set and a break deficit to end Maria Sharapova’s run in Stuttgart and reach her third final of the year at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.
Sharapova started off the match in the same imperious form she’s showed all tournament long, reaching the semifinals without dropping a set. Her return game was firing, piling on the pressure and bringing up a handful of break chances early on.
Mladenovic had no answer for the Russian’s powerful serve – Sharapova lost just four points on serve in the first set and didn’t face a break point– and couldn’t keep pace with her at the baseline. Sharapova grabbed a decisive break at 3-1 to take the opening set, then started off the second with a 2-0 lead.
But Mladenovic refused to fade away and hit back right away, finally breaking through the rock-solid Sharapova serve to level the match at 2-2.