Sharapova reaches her first final in seven months

Updated: 2011-04-01 16:39


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Sharapova reaches her first final in seven months

Maria Sharapova of Russia hits a return during her match against Andrea Petkovic of Germany at the Sony Ericsson Open tennis tournament in Key Biscayne, Florida March 31, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

MIAMI - Maria Sharapova reached her first final in more than seven months and looked back to her best with a 3-6 6-0 6-2 victory over Germany's powerhouse Andrea Petkovic at the Sony Ericsson Open on Thursday.

The former world number one will face Victoria Azarenka in Saturday's final after the Belarusian defeated third seed Vera Zvonareva 6-0 6-3.

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Azarenka reached her second final in Miami after her breakthrough victory in the final here, against Serena Williams, two years ago. The 21-year-old can expect a tough battle against Sharapova, who is looking in top form.

"She is playing well, she is a tough opponent, no matter when or where, I am looking forward to it," said Azarenka.

"I know how she plays, she knows how I play so it will be a real battle. I haven't to let her dictate the play, the way she likes."

After losing the opening set, Sharapova suddenly turned the match around, completely overwhelming her opponent with the kind of devastating form that took her to the top of the world rankings four times between 2005 and 2008.

Petkovic faded quickly and was unable to reproduce the brilliant tennis she uncorked in her wins over the current world number one Caroline Wozniacki and the former rankings leader Jelena Jankovic.

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