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Sharapova, attempting career Grand Slam, reaches French Open semifinals

Maria Sharapova has won the Australian and US Open championships, along with Wimbledon. But the Russian has never won on the red clay of France.

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Maria Sharapova of Russia returns the ball to Kaia Kanepi of Estonia during their quarter-final match at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris June 6.

Francois Lenoir/REUTERS

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Whether she's enjoying a cafe lunch, shopping on the Champs-Élysées or notching another victory on the soft red clay, Maria Sharapova sure enjoys these trips to the French Open.

"What girl doesn't love Paris?" she said.

Two more wins and she'll love it even more.

Sharapova moved another step closer to filling in the last piece of the career Grand Slam, defeating Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-2, 6-3 on Wednesday to reach the semifinals at Roland Garros.

Second-seeded Sharapova rolled through her 23rd-seeded opponent in 74 minutes, a much different scene than the three-set win over Klara Zakopalova in the fourth round that took more than three hours.

"I'm happy with the way I improved in this match," Sharapova said.

Her next opponent will be fourth-seeded Petra Kvitova, the Wimbledon champion who ended 142nd-ranked qualifier Yaroslava Shvedova's upset-filled run with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 victory. Sharapova leads their all-time series 3-2, including a win on clay earlier this year in Stuttgart.

Later Wednesday, in the men's quarterfinals, No. 2 Rafael Nadal played No. 12 Nicolas Almagro and No. 4 Andy Murray faced No. 6 David Ferrer.

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