Rising Russian star Anastasia Myskina, who last Friday couldn't even serve properly because of a painful right shoulder, neutralised the raw power of American Alexandra Stevenson to ease into the semi-finals of the Hong Kong Ladies Challenge last night. The 21-year-old from Moscow suffered a serious injury in November that required intensive physiotherapy and although she had her shoulder bandaged last night, she showed no effects as she came back from one set down to win 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 6-1 at Victoria Park. It was a night to remember for the Russians as teenage beauty Maria Sharapova stormed into tonight's semi-finals after defeating Bulgaria's Magdalena Maleeva 6-3, 6-0 to earn a meeting with nine-time Grand Slam champion Monica Seles. Myskina, who is ranked 11th in the world, will play Chanda Rubin in the other semi-final. She said: 'I played really good in my first match of the season. I played my best. My shoulder is okay and if you're on court, you have to fight. 'My shoulder is not 100 per cent but it's okay. I lost a bit of concentration when I was 3-0 up in the tiebreaker. I know Alexandra very well. She doesn't like to fight in the end,' said Myskina. 'Nobody likes to lose, but she was not going to talk to me even though we see each other almost every week. Off court you can be different than on court. You should have friends. It's nice to smile to each other,' said Myskina. Stevenson refused to get into any slanging match. It was not a good night for the ambitious American who also lost her doubles with Seles. The pair bowed out to Rubin and China's Peng Shuia 8-5 (pro set). 'It's upsetting because I wanted to do well here. You have to move on,' said Stevenson after her losses. 'I just lost my rhythm and I let her back in and I just missed the balls. She keeps the balls on court. That's how you lose when you don't change it up. 'It's actually good it happened here [losing] rather than the Australian Open. I'll have to practice and take this match and learn from it. 'I lost my focus a little when we were forced to stop [because of the rain] and then I played kinda dumb and mindless tennis. I didn't really figure out how to change it up. But it's the first match of the year so I guess I will get it figured out.' The match was halted momentarily in the third set with Myskina leading 2-1. But play continued after just a few minutes and the Russian went straight back to work to complete her first-round victory. 'The rain didn't help things but luckily we continued. It was really important to be up 2-1 rather than 2-1 down,' she said. The 22-year-old Stevenson's first foray in 2003 ended in bitter disappointment as she squandered a golden opportunity to get the New Year off to a grand start. Having won the first set after a closely fought tiebreaker, Stevenson led 3-1 in the second set, but failed to make her lead count as Myskina showed why she is considered one of the best fighters on court. Myskina had led Stevenson 4-1 in head-to-head clashes dating back to 2000, but Stevenson won the last encounter in Linz, giving her the confidence to beat the Russian, who downplayed her chances of winning the Hong Kong tournament because of her injury, which she said has not healed properly. Myskina fought back in the second set to level at 3-3 before taking a 4-3 lead with a service break. Myskina then took a 5-4 lead as she continued to show her all-round abilities with Stevenson screaming in frustration when she failed to put away a simple half-volley at the net. Myskina clenched her fist in anticipation. The Russian then stepped it up as mistakes crept into Stevenson's game. Myskina won the 10th game to clinch the set, forcing the match to go to three sets. The Russian grew in confidence as she swept to a 3-1 lead in the third set after gaining a service break when Stevenson put a backhand into the net. She reeled off the next three games, breaking in the sixth game for a 5-1 lead before winning the match with a superb double-fisted shot that skimmed the sideline. Rubin said she was looking forward to her match against Myskina. 'The last time we played I beat her, although we had a couple of other matches. She's always tough, a very crafty player who understands the court. Now she is feeling good and her ranking is at a high. It's a tough one.' Sharapova, the 15-year-old Nyagan-born Russian, who resides in Florida, pounded Maleeva into submission with a devastating array of shots, winning with a searing forehand winner down the line. The Bulgarian's first appearance in Hong Kong lasted only 56 minutes. 'I played really well,' Sharapova said. 'It was tough and it was my first match I have played at night [outdoors]. I found my rhythm and it's going to be interesting against Monica. 'I played her once before and it will be a chance for me to test myself out and see what level I am at,' said Sharapova.