INDIAN WELLS -- Svetlana Kuznetsova ended Maria Sharapova's winning streak at 18 matches Friday with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 victory in the Pacific Life Open semifinals.
Sharapova's perfect start to the season included titles in the Australian Open and at Doha.
In the matchup of Russian stars, No. 3 Kuznetsova played more aggressively than Sharapova, taking more chances by driving groundstrokes close to the lines. Many went for winners.
After the loss, the fifth-ranked Sharapova said she played at a much slower pace than usual.
Never miss a local story.
"I'm human. I'm allowed to make a few mistakes in my life and career," she said, smiling. "That kind of was the story today.
"She's a very tough, tough player. I give her a lot of respect for her consistency and how strong she is and how many balls she gets back."
Kuznetsova, who evened her career mark against Sharapova at 4-4, will face No. 2 Ana Ivanovic of Serbia in Sunday's final. Ivanovic earned her spot with a 7-6 (3), 6-3 victory over Jelena Jankovic, also from Serbia.
On the men's side, Mardy Fish, who had never made it beyond the fourth round at Indian Wells, added to his string of surprises in this year's tournament with a 6-3, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (4) victory over David Nalbandian.
The win over No. 7 Nalbandian put the 98th-ranked Fish into today's semifinals, where he will need to pull off the upset of his life to advance. His next opponent is No. 1 Roger Federer, who is 5-0 against him. Federer, going for his fourth Indian Wells title in five years, reached the semifinals when his quarterfinal opponent, Tommy Haas, had to forfeit because of a sinus infection.
Defending champion and No. 2 Rafael Nadal will play No. 3 Novak Djokovic, the Australian Open champion, in the other semifinal.
Alain Bernard shattered the 100-meter freestyle world record with a time of 47.60 seconds at the European swimming championships in Eindhoven, Netherlands. In the first semifinal Bernard took nearly a quarter of a second off the old record of 47.84, set by Pieter Van den Hoogenband of the Netherlands at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
High wind delayed the start of the U.S. Alpine Championships at Sugarloaf USA in Carrabassett Valley, Maine. Organizers had changed the schedule in hopes of running the slalom, an event that's the easiest to run in poor weather and low visibility because it's held at lower elevation. But the wind was too severe for that event.