I actually re-watched most of the last set of last night's match before -- Maria actually played quite well imo (apart from that awful service game she played at 3-2 to give away the break). Her backhand was in Stuttgart final form. Like someone else said, I think we were just too tense to realise it was good quality
Hopefully tomorrow she really gets hold of Stosur's serve, because that will be good practice for Serena's 2nd serve. As awesome as Serena's 1st serve is, her 2nd really is overrated - it's usually these days just a Stosur-style kicker predictably into the middle of the box, but Maria has been inexcusably bad at returning it in her latest matches against Serena.
I have to admit, much as I like Vika, I kind of hope she doesn't make the semis -- although I really do think Maria could beat either Serena or Vika here, to beat both of them she'd have to play 2 perfect matches in a row, and I don't know if she can do that
One perfect match she can do, potentially.