Wimbledon 2011: Maria Sharapova Through to Semis

Maria Sharapova shrieked her way into the semifinals at Wimbledon, beating Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova, 6-1, 6-1, on Tuesday in a performance reminiscent of the Russian tennis star’s form in 2006, when she won at the All England Club for her first-ever Grand Slam title.

Playing like the Sharapova of old, the 24-year-old flustered Cibulkova with powerful groundstrokes that almost always resulted in a winner. Sharapova also reduced her 24th-seeded opponent to a sitting duck with accurate service returns, allowing Cibulkova to hold serve only once. With the victory, Sharapova has now reached her second-straight Grand Slam semifinal after also making the final four at last month’s French Open.

Waiting for Sharapova in the semifinals is wild card Sabine Lisicki, who recovered from a late second set collapse to turn back ninth seed Marion Bartoli of France, 6-4, 7-6, 6-1. The other semifinal pairing will feature no.8 Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria against Belarus’s Victoria Azarenka, who at number four is the highest-ranked player remaining in the women’s draw.