Sharapova towers over Cibulkova to make semis

Thursday, 30 June 2011 00:17 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

(Reuters) - Fifth seed Maria Sharapova, the last giant left in the women’s draw, powered into the Wimbledon semi-finals after being head and shoulders above diminutive Slovak Dominika Cibulkova in a 6-1 6-1 demolition on Tuesday.

Having not dropped a set all tournament, the tall Russian looks hot favourite to seal her fourth grand slam title and meets German wildcard Sabine Lisicki in the last four on Thursday.

Almost a veteran at 24, Sharapova is the last former champion left among the women following her victory in 2004 and she also reached the semi-finals at the recent French Open after battling back from a serious shoulder injury.

“It’s great, the fact that I’ve had the experience of being in these stages,” she told a news conference after making the last four at Wimbledon for the first time since 2006.

“But I haven’t been for a while (at Wimbledon), so it’s a nice and refreshing feeling to have.”

Sharapova broke three times in the first set under the Centre Court roof as she dominated 24th seed Cibulkova from the baseline and rain poured down outside.

Three further breaks in the second set meant victory, in just over an hour, was a mere formality on the grass.