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Wozniacki to take on Sharapova at Indian Wells
The two will clash in the semis after Victoria Azarenka retired because of a hip injury against Wozniacki.
California: Top seed Caroline Wozniacki advanced to the semi-finals in Indian Wells on Thursday when her opponent Victoria Azarenka of Belarus retired because of a hip injury when trailing 3-0.
The eighth-seeded Azarenka, a close friend of Wozniacki, suffered the injury while trying to play a forehand during the second point of the third game in the opening set.
Denmark's Wozniacki will next meet Russian Maria Sharapova, who recovered from a dismal serving display in the second set to battle past China's Peng Shuai 6-2 5-7 6-3 on the showpiece stadium court.
Champion here in 2006, 16th seed Sharapova appeared to be in cruise control after sweeping through the first set and going 2-0 up in the second but she then double-faulted seven times for Peng to level the match.
The final set began with four successive breaks of serve before the Russian, regaining form with her crunching forehand, broke Peng in the seventh and ninth games to seal victory in two hours and 22 minutes.
"I turned it on for the first set and a half and then my level definitely dropped," Sharapova said courtside after serving up a total of 13 double faults.
"She took advantage of that and it was important for me to stay tough. I knew the match wasn't over until the last point."
In the day's first match, world number one Wozniacki broke Azarenka in the second game to lead 2-0 and then 30-0 on serve before her opponent summoned her trainer, laid down on a towel and had her upper left thigh massaged.
After taking a 10-minute medical timeout, Azarenka returned to play two more points for Wozniacki to take a 3-0 lead before the Belarussian forfeited the match.
"Victoria is one of my best friends on the tour, and to see her in pain on the court and to see her get injured was not nice for sure," Wozniacki said after reaching the last four at Indian Wells for a second successive year.
"I would like to have won it in another way, but I'm through to the semi-finals and I'm happy to be there."
Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli and Belgian Yanina Wickmayer advanced to the last four at Indian Wells on Wednesday.
Bartoli, at 26 the oldest player left in the draw, shrugged off a stomach bug to beat Serb Ana Ivanovic 6-4 7-6 while Wickmayer, the 23rd seed, upset 10th-seeded Shahar Peer 6-3 6-3.
Before the start of the Wozniacki-Azarenka match, the two players brought a Japanese flag out on to the court as a tribute to the victims of last week's devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
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