Sharapova extends winning streak
The former world number one takes her 2008 record to 18 wins from 18 matches.
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2008 06:08 GMT

Russia's Maria Sharapova has won every match
she has played in 2008 so far [GALLO/GETTY]

Maria Sharapova, Australian Open champion, ended Daniela Hantuchova's defence of her Indian Wells title with a 7-6, 6-1 straight-sets quarter-final victory in California.
Sharapova, tournament fourth seed, improved after a slow start secure victory over the fifth-seeded Slovakian, booking a semi-final meeting with second-seeded Russian compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova in the $5.7 million WTA and ATP Masters Series event.
Sharapova also preserved her perfect 2008 record, taking her match winning streak to 18 victories in as many appearances this year, including her Australian Open triumph in January and a title in Qatar.

"The first set I was playing like I didn't belong on that court," said Sharapova, who had to fight back from 2-5 down.

"The second set was probably the best that I've played this tournament."

Maria Sharapova
"My level was so low in that first set. She had that first set in her hands, and she didn't take it.

"The second set was probably the best that I've played this tournament."

Hantuchova, who has won two of her three WTA Tour titles at Indian Wells, starting with her first title in 2002, had said before the match that she considered the stadium court in California her home.

Losing concentration

"Obviously, I feel like it's my tournament, so I'm very disappointed," the Slovakian said afterwards.

"I had my chances and I didn't take them today. I feel like I lost my concentration in that first set and she took advantage of that.

"But she's playing very well, hasn't lost this season."

Kuznetsova, runner-up to Hantuchova last year, defeated Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 6-4, avenging her third-round loss to the Pole at the Australian Open.

"It was a good win for me after playing her in Australian Open," said Kuznetsova.

"I was more dictating my game, I was more focused and calm."

In the remaining quarter-finals, top-seeded Serbian Ana Ivanovic plays Russian Vera Zvonareva and third-seeded Serbian Jelena Jankovic meets American Lindsay Davenport.

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