Mon, May 16, 2011 - Page 20 News List

Djokovic pushed to the limit by Murray

AP, ROME

Despite the loss, the 16th-seeded Gasquet should take some confidence into the French Open. The Frenchman eliminated Roger Federer in the third round and beat seventh-seeded Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals.

“It was a fantastic tournament for him,” Nadal said. “I’m happy to see him back at his best. He’s a good friend.”

The seventh-seeded Sharapova will be playing her second final of the year, having fallen to Victoria Azarenka in Miami in March. In addition to her father, Yuri, Sharapova began working with a new coach — former Swedish professional Thomas Hogstedt — at the start of the year.

“Every year I feel better and better [on clay],” Sharapova said, adding that she also recovers quicker now between tough matches on the surface.

Early in the second set, Sharapova fell stomach-first to the clay chasing down a shot. That point gave Wozniacki a 2-0 lead, but Sharapova eventually won the final five games and raised both arms to the sky and let out a big smile after landing a forehand-return winner on her first match point.

Stosur hadn’t reached a final since losing to Francesca Schiavone at Roland Garros last year.

“I was very disappointed and I had to look at the positive side because I had a very good tournament ... I have played some good matches and tournaments in the past 12 months, but I just was not able to get the last bit again,” Stosur said.

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