Maria Sharapova advanced to the semifinals of the Qatar Open by beating former U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur 6-2, 6-4 Friday.

The third-ranked Russian, looking for her third title in Qatar, broke Stosur twice to lead 4-1 and then hit a backhand down the line to make it 5-1. She closed it out when the ninth-ranked Australian hit her return long.

Sharapova took a 3-0 lead in the second set, but Stosur staged a brief comeback. Stosur broke to make it 3-1 and had a chance to tie it at 4-4. But Sharapova hit five aces to win the game and won the set when her backhand clipped the net and dropped over.

Sharapova will play either Serena Williams or Petra Kvitova in the semifinal.