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Tennis: Serena powers past Sharapova and into Miami final

Published on Mar 28, 2014 4:21 AM
Serena Williams of the United States waves to the crowd after her straight sets victory against Maria Sharapova of Russia during their semi final round match during day 11 at the Sony Open at Crandon Park Tennis Cente on March 27, 2014 in Key Biscayne, Florida.-- PHOTO: AFP

MIAMI (AFP) - Serena Williams extended her dominance of Maria Sharapova on Thursday, defeating the Russian 6-4, 6-3 to reach the final of the Miami hardcourt tournament for the ninth time.

World number one Williams will be seeking a second straight Miami crown - and the seventh of her career - on Saturday, when she takes on either Australian Open champion Li Na of China or Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova in the women's final of the combined WTA and ATP Masters event.

Sharapova, ranked fifth in the world and seeded fourth, seized the first break in each set, but couldn't build on her advantage as she went down to Williams for a 15th straight time.

Williams leads their career head-to-head 16-2, and Sharapova's two victories in the rivalry came back in 2004, when a precocious 17-year-old Sharapova beat Williams in the finals at Wimbledon and the WTA Championships.

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