WTA Tour: Maria Sharapova out of Madrid Open

Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova's encouraging run at the Madrid Open came to an end when she was beaten by Kiki Bertens at the quarter-final stage.

Having made her first major quarter-final since returning from a drugs ban, Sharapova looked in good shape to extend her run when she took the first set 6-4.

But big-hitting Bertens, a former French Open semi-finalist, hit back to win 3-6 6-2 6-3 and leave Sharapova to acknowledge she still has improvements to make.

Sharapova told wtatour.com: "I think it's a combination of taking the positives but also being a little bit tough on yourself and expecting a bit more.

"It was great to get those wins against those players but there's a reason I came up short. You want to evaluate that and go back to the drawing board and start over again."

In the semi-finals Bertens will face seventh seed Caroline Garcia who dispatched home favourite Carla Suarez-Navarro 6-2 6-3 in 77 minutes.

Top seed Simona Halep saw her hopes of winning a third straight Madrid title shattered as she fell 6-4 6-3 to sixth seed Karolina Pliskova.

Pliskova dropped her first service game of the match but hit back with a strong display of serving, and a rising number of unforced errors from the Romanian cost her the chance of victory.

In the late quarter-final, Petra Kvitova made short work of Daria Kasatkina of Russia, charging to a 6-4 6-0 win in just 65 minutes.

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