Sharapova Powers to Madrid Open Finals

first_imgMaria Sharapova blasted her way past third seed Agnieszka Radwanska in 68 minutes to reach the Madrid Open final.The Russian, seeded eighth, made a storming start and withstood a second-set Radwanska fightback to win 6-1 6-4. Sharapova, 27, will face Simona Halep today after the Romanian beat Petra Kvitova 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-2 to reach her first Premier Mandatory level final.Sharapova hit 28 winners to four from Radwanska, who extended the contest by fighting back from 3-0 down in the second set but never looked likely to score only a third win in 12 meetings between the pair. Reigning champion Serena Williams, who pulled out with a thigh injury on Friday, is the only woman to have beaten Sharapova on clay since 2011.Halep, 22, was ranked 64 in the world this time last year but has rocketed to fifth on the back of six titles in 2013 and another one in 2014.“I’m very excited that I can play in my biggest final tomorrow,” said Halep. “I hope that I can control my emotions and just play.”last_img

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