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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sharapova on Verge of First Slam Final

APSharapova after her quarterfinal victory.
WIMBLEDON, England -- For a 17-year-old who has just reached her first Grand Slam semifinal, Maria Sharapova isn't just happy to be here. She's got bigger things in mind.

"I want to win this tournament," she said. "I want it very bad. When you have a big passion for something and you want to achieve something, I'm going to give it my all."

Sharapova is the youngest player to make the Wimbledon semifinals since Martina Hingis and Anna Kournikova both got there in 1997 at 16. Hingis beat Kournikova in the semis and won the title that year.

Hingis is retired, and Kournikova has been off the tour for months with chronic injuries.

Her opponent in Thursday's semifinals will be 1999 champion Lindsay Davenport, a 28-year-old American playing in her 12th, and possibly last, Wimbledon. Sharapova is respectful but not awed or intimidated by the three-time Grand Slam winner.

"We both hit a pretty powerful ball, both have a pretty good serve," she said. "She's a great champion. I mean, she's won this tournament and I want this tournament, so it's going to be interesting."

Davenport has never played Sharapova, but knows all about her.

"She has a big game," Davenport said. "I'm a huge fan of her game and how she plays. It's going to be a huge matchup. She serves well and hits big groundstrokes. We're both baseliners and we both hit pretty hard."

Davenport has not won a Grand Slam since the Australian Open in 2000. This is her first time back in the Wimbledon semifinals since 2001. Since then she's struggled with knee and foot injuries and slipped from No. 1 to No. 5 in the rankings. But Davenport has been injury-free this year and feels back in the groove on her favorite surface.

"This is my 12th year, and to still be successful and still be at the top of the game is a huge accomplishment," she said. "I still have a lot of confidence in myself, especially the faster the court the better."

But Davenport also acknowledged that she might not be back next year.

"There's probably a good chance that's the case, but nothing definitive," she said. "I plan to, no matter what, play out this year and then kind of go over it in my mind again."