Serena Williams & Maria Sharapova into Madrid Open final

Williams beat Italy’s Sara Errani 7-5 6-2, before Sharapova secured a 6-4 6-3 victory over Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic.

Should world number two Sharapova win Sunday’s final she will replace Williams at the top of the rankings.

“Of course it’s always tough against her. I haven’t had a win against her in a long time,” Sharapova said.

“But the great thing is that I’m setting myself up in a position where I can try to change that around.”

In the first semi-final, Errani had chances and was twice a break up, but defending champion Williams recorded her straight sets victory in an hour and a half.

The 31-year-old American, who will secure her 50th career title if she wins on Sunday, said: “Everyone [I’ve played so far] was also smaller than me. So I think tomorrow will be a really good match.”

“This whole tournament I’ve only played clay-court opponents. Tomorrow will be different, more power.”

In the second semi-final, former French Open champion Ivanovic opened up a 2-0 lead in the second set, but Sharapova responded, breaking the Serb’s serve twice.

Sharapova, 26, has not dropped a set in Madrid, but Williams boasts a 12-2 record against the Russian.

The final comes two weeks before Sharapova attempts to defend her French Open title, in the climax to the clay-court season.


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