Maria Sharapova found herself trailing in the final set against Nadia Petrova when some rain came.
Given a chance to regroup, Sharapova sought out coach Thomas Hogstedt, who delivered a simple message: Call Dad. So she did exactly that, phoning her father, Yuri, who used to travel with Sharapova on tour and helped build her game. ”He just said, ‘You know, your energy dropped in the beginning of the second set. That’s over. That’s done. Now you’ve got to go out there and fight,” Sharapova recounted.
She heeded his advice. Shrieking loudly during points, screaming and pumping her fist after winning them, Sharapova grabbed control after the rain delay of a little more than an hour, coming back to beat the 19th-seeded Petrova 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 on Sunday night. ”She came out there with determination,” said Petrova, who later was a little less charitable, declaring that ”unfortunately, it was her lucky day.”
Well, the chance to meet with Hogstedt and get a pep talk from Pops might have helped, but Sharapova also comes by her late-match success honestly: She is 11-0 this season in three-setters. Behind 2-0 in the deciding set Sunday, Sharapova took five of the next six games following the resumption in play. ”I always think that, no matter how you start the match, it’s always how you finish. Whether it’s an hour or whether it’s three hours that you’re out there, I don’t want to give up until the last point,” Sharapova said. ”That’s pretty much the mentality I try to have going into a third set.”
The third-seeded Sharapova will face 2007 Wimbledon runner-up Marion Bartoli of France for a semifinal berth.