Maria Sharapova wins disputed final point

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KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. — Maria Sharapova was confused and Caroline Wozniacki was angry. The linesman was wrong and the chair umpire was right.

Maria Sharapova makes a return in her 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 semifinal victory over Caroline Wozniacki in the Sony Ericsson Open. Sharapova won a disputed final point.  LYNNE SLADKY/ASSOCIATED PRESS
LYNNE SLADKY/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Maria Sharapova makes a return in her 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 semifinal victory over Caroline Wozniacki in the Sony Ericsson Open. Sharapova won a disputed final point.

Sharapova won the disputed final point after an overrule by the umpire, edging Wozniacki 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 on Thursday in the semifinals at the Sony Ericsson Open.

“Obviously you don’t want it to end that way,” Sharapova said.

At 40-30 in the last game, Sharapova hit a second serve that the linesman called long, which would have been a double-fault, but umpire Kader Nouni immediately reversed the ruling and ordered the point replayed. The call couldn’t be reviewed because Wozniacki had no challenges left, although TV replays showed Nouni was correct to overrule.

Sharapova was awarded two serves and took advantage with a big first serve to set up an overhead slam for the victory.

Wozniacki, angry about the overrule, declined to shake Nouni’s hand and had words with him as she walked to the exit.

“It was a pretty crucial point,” she said. “When the ball is so close, I think he should give her a chance to challenge, at least when I don’t have any challenges.”

Sharapova said she didn’t realize Wozniacki had no challenges left, and added she would have challenged the call herself had it not been overruled.

“It’s obviously a tough situation to be in,” Sharapova said, “because it’s so close to the end of the match, and both of us had fought so hard for over two hours.”

Seeded No. 2, Sharapova improved to 4-0 in Key Biscayne semifinals. She’s 0-3 in finals at the event, losing every set.

Sharapova’s opponent Saturday will be the winner of Thursday night’s late match between No. 5 Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 7 Marion Bartoli.

Sharapova advanced to her second successive final and third this year. She was runner-up at the Australian Open in January and at Indian Wells two weeks ago.

In the men’s quarterfinals, No. 21 Juan Monaco advanced on his 28th birthday by eliminating the last American in either singles draw, No. 8 Mardy Fish, 6-1, 6-3. The scrappy Monaco dominated from the baseline and hit only eight second serves.

“This is the way to celebrate my birthday, playing like this,” Monaco said. “I feel proud and very happy.”


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