Sharapova will need to maintain her serve if she hopes to defeat Wozniacki.

Top seed Caroline Wozniacki advanced to the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday when Victoria Azarenka retired with a hip injury. The world number one broke the Azarenka serve in game two was 3-0 up in the first set when the eighth seed from Belarus signalled she could not continue with their quarter-final at Indian Wells.

Wozniacki felt for her opponent, saying: “Victoria is one of my best friends on the tour and to see her in pain was not nice, for sure. “I would have liked to win it in another way, but I’m through to the semi-finals and happy to be there.”

Wozniacki will play Maria Sharapova in the last four after the 2006 champion battled to a three-set victory over China’s Peng Shuai. Sharapova, seeded 16, looked to be cruising into her first semi-final of the season when she moved 6-2 2-0 ahead but produced three double faults to allow Peng back into the match before prevailing 6-2 5-7 6-3. “My level dropped in the second set so it was important to stay tough out there,” said the Russian, who hit 15 more errors than her opponent.

“The match wasn’t over until the last point so I just hung in there. I have nothing but great memories from this court – it has been a few years since I won here but I’d love to have that feeling again.”



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