KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. — The grunts were long and loud in the final game, as if Maria Sharapova was pushing a couch across nearby Crandon Beach.
Trying to win the Sony Open must feel that way to Sharapova, a four-time runner-up. She returned to the semifinals Wednesday despite a patchy performance, beating Sara Errani 7-5, 7-5.
Sharapova had 57 unforced errors, including 13 double-faults, and overcame three set points in the second set.
Seeded No. 3, she’ll play Thursday against No. 22 Jelena Jankovic, who beat No. 15 Roberta Vinci 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3.
The men’s quarterfinals featured eight Europeans for the first time, and in the opening match, No. 3 David Ferrer of Spain rallied past unseeded Jurgen Melzer of Austria, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0. Ferrer’s opponent Friday will be bracket buster Tommy Haas of Germany, who beat No. 11 Gilles Simon of France, 6-3, 6-1.
The 34-year-old Haas became the oldest man to beat a No. 1 player in a completed match in 30 years when he upset Novak Djokovic on Tuesday night.