The Russian world number two, who takes on Czech fourth seed Petra Kvitova in today’s semi-finals at Roland Garros, has credited Yutaka Nakamura for helping boost her claycourt confidence and comfort.
“I work with a Japanese trainer that I’ve known for a long time, a physical trainer from Florida. He was in Australia for a few years and now he came back to the States, so I started working with him in the off-season a little bit here and there,” said Sharapova after her 6-2, 6-3 win over Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi yesterday.
“I’ll see him again after here. It’s been nice to have him.”
Nakamura, says Sharapova, has helped tweak the way she moves on clay, always a test for a woman standing at an imposing 1.88m. “There are a few different movements on clay with the sliding and the recovering and getting back into the point which you work on, but I think it's just a general sense of movement.”
Kvitova in semis
Meanwhile, Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic reached the semi-finals yesterday with a hard-earned 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over qualifier Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan.
“Every point that we played was really tough,” Kvitova said after beating Shvedova, who was ahead 4-2 in the third set when the Czech turned the match around.
>> Samantha Stosur vs Sara Errani
Head-to-head: Stosur leads 5-0
>> Petra Kvitova vs Maria Sharapova
Head-to-head: Sharapova leads 3-2