The Miami Sony Open promises a great match in the women's final as the world no.1 takes on the world no.2.
Top seed Serena Williams did enough to put an end to Maria Sharapova's hopes of lifting the title at Miami for the first time, beating her 6-4, 6-3 in the semifinals. The rivalry between the two, on and off the court, is widely known and Serena came out victorious, in what was her 16th career win over Sharapova.
"Despite my results against her, I still look forward to playing against her because you learn so much from that type of level which she produces," Sharapova said. She has only two wins against the American so far in her career. "You finish the match, and you know where you need to improve and the things that you need to work on."
Sharapova was at a 4-1 advantage in the first set when Serena started her comeback. "I think she started out strong," Serena said. "I made some errors, I had a lot of chances to be up and then had some chances to hold serve and chances to break again. So I definitely let myself down in the first three games, and then she started playing better."
In the second set too, Sharapova did not let it go easy in the start, when she was 2-0 up. But Serena's forehand proved too hot for the Russian. "That's why she's No. 1 in the world," Sharapova said. "That's why she's won so many Grand Slams because we're out there an hour, three hours, and there is no proof you are going to hold your concentration or your focus for a long period of time.
"There are always going to be drops. But she's the player that is most capable of coming back from that, regaining focus and concentration."
Serena was also in a mood to compliment her opponent, saying the Russian was more challenging than the scoreline suggests.
"It wasn't easy," Serena said. "Obviously Maria plays really well, and she's done really well here, so I just decided I had to do a little better, stay focused and make more shots."
When asked if she was excited to reach her ninth Miami final, having won six, Serena said she was surprised by the figures.
"That's pretty awesome - I didn't even realize," Serena said. "But I just love playing here in Miami. This is my home."
Serena will face China's tennis champ Li Na in the final. Li defeated tenth-seed Dominika Cibulkova 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 in the semis. "I'm so happy, it's my first time," Li said after reaching the final.