Sharapova to meet Kvitova in Paris
Moving on ... Maria Sharapova is into the final four. Photo: AP
If Samantha Stosur can get past Sara Errani on Thursday night, the Australian will face either Maria Sharapova or Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in Saturday's French Open final.
Sharapova outclassed Estonian Kaia Kanepi 6-2 6-3 in Wednesday's quarter-finals before fourth seed Kvitova eliminated Kazakh qualifier Yaroslava Shvedova 3-6 6-2 6-4 to book a semi-final showdown with the world No.2.
Sharapova, also a semi-finalist in 2007 and 2011, is oozing confidence in her bid to complete a career grand slam in Paris.
"I am happy to be back in the semi-finals. I love coming back here to challenge myself to go further in the tournament," said Sharapova, who can reclaim the world No.1 spot from Victoria Azarenka if she makes it the title match.
"I won two tournaments coming into Paris in Stuttgart and Rome and they gave me a lot of confidence.
"But every event is different. I am just happy to improve and I know it'll get tougher from here."
Kvitova had to battle back from a set down to finally halt Shvedova's giantkilling run in the last of the quarter-finals.
Shvedova had knocked out defending champion Li Na in the fourth round and would have been the first qualifier to make it to the women's semi-finals at Roland Garros.
"Every point that we played was really tough," Kvitova said.
"I knew that I had to change my game. It wasn't easy and I'm really happy that my serve helped me and I played my aggressive game again."
Sharapova leads Kvitova 3-2 head-to-head entering their semi-final on Thursday.
Kvitova triumphed in last year's Wimbledon final before Sharapova turned the tables in the Australian Open semi-finals and then beat the Czech 6-4 7-6 (7-3) in their most recent clash on clay in Rome just last month in Stuttgart.
"She's an extremely tough opponent, someone that I have had good success in our last couple of previous meetings," Sharapova said.
"But always tough matches. The last one in Stuttgart was a tough two-setter for me.
"She had opportunities in that second set to win it, so she seems to be playing really well.
"When she's confident when she's hitting the ball she's quite dangerous, so obviously it's going to be another level as well.
"I hope that I can raise my level as well, too."