The Russian won 64 76(3) in two hours to end the Czech’s 27 indoor match winning streak.
“In the last couple of matches this week I felt like it really came down to just a few points,” Sharapova commented after the match. “Today it was just about one service break in the first set and just a couple of points in the tie-breaker.”
“I had a lot of chances – it was the same as in Melbourne,” Kvitova commented. “At the beginning of the match I wasn’t returning well, and I think that continued in the second set. I didn’t return her serve well and I think that was the key. But she had good serves when she needed them and from the baseline she was so aggressive – you have to be ready because she’s very dangerous. I’m disappointed after this match, but I did make the semifinals of my first clay court tournament of the year, so maybe in two days I’ll be happy about it.”
Azarenka advanced to the finals with a straight sets win over world no. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska. The Belarusian has beaten Sharapova twice already this year – in the finals of the Australian Open in January and in Indian Wells in March. Azarenka leads their overall head to head 5-3.
“I look forward to the challenge,” Sharapova commented looking ahead to the final. “I’ve lost to Victoria the last few times so I’ll go out there and hope to change things around. I’ll look at the last few times we played and learn from my mistakes – but she’s playing such confident tennis this year, and she’s really the one to beat right now.”