Tennis

Sharapova v Azarenka in final

2012-04-28 21:40
Maria Sharapova (File)

Stuttgart - Maria Sharapova hopes to claim her first title of the season in Sunday's Stuttgart clay court final against top seed Victoria Azarenka following her semi-final win over Petra Kvitova.

In Saturday's last four tie, world number two Sharapova needed just under two hours to see off Kvitova to claim revenge for her defeat in the 2011 Wimbledon final and secure a 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) victory.

Having lost to world number one Azarenka twice already in the three finals she has contested this season, the Russian is hoping for fourth-time lucky on Sunday with $115 000 plus a new sports car on offer for the winner.

Sharapova broke her Czech opponent in the fifth game in the first set and the 11th of the second, after Kvitova had earlier missed a chance for a set point, before the world number three broke back.

Sharapova failed to serve out at 6-5 up as the second set went to a tie-break when the Russian held her nerve having raced into a 3-0 lead and said she is looking forward to facing Azarenka in the final.

"She is really confident this year and is the one to beat, I am really looking forward to the match," said Sharapova.

Sharapova will claim the 25th title of her career if she beats Azarenka and said her semi-final win was hard earned.

"It was extremely close and I am just glad to get through," said the Russian.

"She's a very powerful hitter and hits it really low, you have to stay down and be aggressive."

Azarenka booked her place in the final with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska.

It was the fifth time this year Azarenka had beaten the Pole having already seen off the world number four on hardcourt in Sydney, at the Australian Open, Doha and Indian Wells.

It was their first meeting on clay, but Azarenka needed just 24 minutes to blitz Radwanska to take the first set as the Polish number one managed just 11 points.

In the second, the Belarusian kept up the pressure with an impressive selection of shots, but despite claiming her tenth overall victory over Radwanska in just 77 minutes, Azarenka insisted it had been far from easy.

"I think she is such a good player that I have to step up to beat her, I think she brings the best out of my game," said Azarenka.

"We had some good rallies and I was just trying to stay in control of the game."

Despite needing nearly three hours to beat wildcard Mona Barthel in Friday's quarter-final, Azarenka said she was feeling little fatigue.

"Sometimes the long matches make you feel tired, but sometimes they energise you and give you confidence," she said. "I felt good on the court."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

Petkovic into Sofia semis

2014-10-31 08:34

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

 

90-year-old's incredible travels

Age is but a number. This grandma is living life to the fullest!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

10 facts about swimming you didn't know
Snors with a cause - creating awareness of male health
Watch! Skateboarders racing cyclists
Exciting new zipline for Cape Town!
 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.