Maria Sharapova moved to the final of the Madrid Masters after a convincing 6-1, 6-4 win over Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska on Saturday. The Russian will be pleased that a certain defending champion Serena Williams will not be waiting to take her on in Sunday's final. But there's still enough resistance promised by talented Romanian Simona Halep.
Where to Watch Live
Maria Sharapova vs Simona Halep starts at 8 pm IST, 2.30 pm GMT. The live coverage will be on Ten Sports HD in India and, for online viewers, the day's play will be live streamed in India and the UK HERE and HERE. ESPN3 will have live coverage for the US and Australia but to watch the action live online, click HERE or HERE.
Fourth seed Halep fought hard for her berth in the final as she defeated fifth seed Petra Kvitova 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-2. She is the first Romanian finalist in Madrid and will not let go off her chance easily.
"I expect a very tough match," Halep, 22, said, "But I'm very excited to be in the final. I hope I can control my emotions and play my best tennis. I didn't expect to be there - and I still think a grand slam would be too much for me."
Sharapova has hit a golden run on clay courts in recent past, winning the title at Stuttgart just two weeks ago. With archrival Williams not there to deny her in her second consecutive final, the Russian will be keen on winning the Madrid Masters and keeping her clay court momentum up. Sharapova, who turned 27 on 19 April, has now made $27m in career earnings.
"We haven't played in a really long time," Sharapova said of her final opponent. "But she's been playing really well - not just this tournament, but for the last year."
"I really challenge myself to improve on clay courts because that was never my favourite surface in the beginning of my career," Sharapova added. "I've done a really good job of transitioning from the hard to the clay and improving physically and recovering well from match to match."