Russian superstar Maria Sharapova is through to the final of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, where she will contest another enthralling encounter against a player that has really come into her own in 2015: Carla Suarez Navarro. This marks the fifth time they cross paths on the WTA tour, with Sharapova leading the head to head series 3-1.
Watch the match live Here: Sharapova vs Suarez Navarro Rome Live Streaming
Not only did Sharapova exact revenge on Saturday afternoon against an opponent who upset her earlier this season, she regained her spot as world No. 2 ahead of the French Open in three weeks. The Russian star defeated her fellow countrywoman Daria Gavrilova in straight sets 7-5, 6-3 to secure her spot in the tournament final. Gavrilova did manage to break in the second set but Sharapova rallied back to win the following five consecutive games to close out the match in one hour and 48 minutes.
“She loves this surface. She grew up on clay. I’ve beaten her the last couple of times, but I’ve had losses against her too,” Sharapova said about the upcoming final against Carla. “I know what a difficult player she can be, and she seems like she’s playing with a lot of confidence right now, especially after her win in the semifinals today.
“She has one of the best one-handed backhands on the tour. It’s going to be a tough final.”
Sharapova will come up against Carla Suarez Navarro, who reached the final by beating Simona Halep in three sets. She won 56% of her first service points and converted nine break points to close out the match 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 in two hours and 29 minutes.
“Maria is very good mentally,” Suárez Navarro said. “She plays aggressive in the important moments, and serves really well in the important moments. She focuses so well, which is really important.”
This marks the fifth time that these two competitors meet on the professional tour, with Sharapova leading the series 3-1. Her sole loss against the Spaniard was at the Rogers Cup last year in Montreal, where Sharapova lost to Navarro in three sets. This is set to be their first ever meeting on clay.
Prediction: Maria Sharapova in Three Sets