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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 June, 2004, 15:14 GMT 16:14 UK
Sharapova battles through
By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Maria Sharapova
Sharapova was playing in her first Grand Slam quarter-final
Maria Sharapova showed all her fighting qualities as she beat Ai Sugiyama to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final.

Sharapova came back to win 5-7 7-5 6-1 and will meet Lindsay Davenport next.

The 17-year-old Russian made a succession of early errors and looked increasingly frustrated in dropping the first set to the experienced Sugiyama.

Sharapova wasted three consecutive set points in the second before finally converting her fourth, and an early break in the third set proved decisive.

"I'm speechless," she told BBC Sport. "All the hard work and sacrifices make this amazing.

"I don't know how it happened. I was down the whole match, but that moment at the end made it all worthwhile.

"I always wanted to play on Centre Court but never thought about reaching the semi-finals.

"Moments like these, after all the hard work, are the ones to savour."




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