• Miami Masters

Sharapova bid for Florida glory continues

ESPN staff
March 25, 2014
Serena Williams powered past Angelique Kerber to set up a Miami Masters semi-final against Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova's quest for her first title at the Miami Masters continues after she rallied from being down a break in the first set to oust Petra Kvitova 7-5 6-1 and book a spot in the semi-finals at Key Biscayne.

Sharapova, who faces Serena Williams in the semi-finals, has been a finalist five times in Miami but never won.

Fourth seed Sharapova - who needed three-setters to get through her two most recent matches at Key Biscayne - feasted off 30 unforced errors made by Kvitova, who lost 11 of the final 13 games.

"I love the energy here," Sharapova said.

Williams, the defending champion, won 62 of 100 points in her 6-2 6-2 romp over Angelique Kerber.

Williams broke Kerber twice in each set, faced only one break point and hit more than double her opponent's winners. She holds a 15-2 record against Sharapova, winning their last 14 matches, including the final at Key Biscayne last year.

"When you're playing champions, you like to play your best," Williams said. "She always gives me her best. I love playing her. I really do. It doesn't matter what surface. She's one of my favorite people to play."

Serena Williams eased past Angelique Kerber © Getty Images

Sharapova said she was eager to face Williams again.

"It's no secret that she's been a big challenge of mine, an opponent that obviously I would love to beat," Sharapova said.

An unattended backpack left near the main gate held up spectators as they were trying to leave the stadium after Williams' win.

Police stopped traffic and bystanders in the immediate area because the bag. Authorities then found it did not present any safety risk.

Personnel working at the tournament found the bag, with police confirming the department's bomb squad was responding "to mitigate the potential threat."

Hundreds of people were stopped at the gate.

"There was a bomb threat and a lockdown but that's all I know about it," Williams said shortly after the situation ended. "Scary."

The start of play was delayed nearly an hour by rain, and Sharapova's match was briefly halted by a drizzle.

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