PARIS - Maria Sharapova has battled into her fourth successive French Open semi-final and fifth of her career with a 1-6, 7-5, 6-1 win over rising Spaniard Garbine Muguruza.
But the four-time major winner and former world number one was given an almighty fright by the 20-year-old Muguruza who had knocked out Williams in the second round.
"There was little I could do in the first set as Garbine was playing so well," said Sharapova.
"I needed to pick up my energy and start moving my feet. It was tough losing the final last year and it has given me greater motivation to go one step further this time."
Sharapova needed a win to retain her top 10 ranking. In desperation, she even had to play one return with her left hand to stay in a rally.