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WTA Indian Wells - Azarenka to meet Sharapova in final

World no. 1 Victoria Azarenka will take on world no. 2 Maria Sharapova in the finals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells – the first match between the top two women players in the world since January 2008.

Azarenka was the first to advance beating,  Angelique Kerber 6-4, 6-3 for her 22nd win in as many matches this season. Sharapova then followed her into the final when Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic retired hurt early in the second set of their semi-final.

Ivanovic started strong, leading 2-0 but Sharapoa fought back to 3-3 in the first set. The Serb took a medical time out for her left hip/ glute muscle late in the first set and Sharapova broke again to win it 6-4.

After holding for 1-0 in the second, Ivanovic decided to call it quits.

Azarenka leads Sharapova 4-3 in career matches and also won their most recent encounter – at the Australian Open.

“I’m really impressed by the way Angelique was playing,” Azarenka commented. “It was the first time we played on the pro tour, so it was a little bit new for me, and she showed some excellent tennis. I think she’s a great player and she really pushed me to raise my level and really dig to win that match.”

“I had some chances, but she’s a great player and plays very well in those moments,” Kerber told the media. “I think if I played my game and was being aggressive she would have made mistakes; but I was a little bit defensive and just put the ball in the court sometimes, and she played her game and made winners. I also think my serve wasn’t the best today, and she really returns unbelievable.

“But I did everything I could, and it was a great tournament for me.”

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