Sharapova defeats Kerber, faces Li Na in Stuttgart final

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The first of the two semi final matches played at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart on Saturday was between top seed, Maria Sharapova, and the only remaining German in the draw, 3rd seeded Angelique Kerber. Shaparova only just squeaked past both Lucie Safarova and Ana Ivanovic, both in three sets to get to the semis, while Kerber won her two matches in straight sets. Sharapova broke in the very first game to build a lead of 2-1 and she then broke again to take the set 6-3. The beginning of the second set was a reversal of the first, with Kerber breaking to lead 2-1 and go all the way to 5-1 before the Russian got another game. The German levelled the sets when she served out to take the second 6-2. Kerber broke in the first game of the decider, but Sharapova broke back and from 3-3 games went with serve until Sharapova reached 6-5and get a final break to take the set 7-5.

The second semi final saw 5th ranked and 2nd seed Na Li play the American qualifier, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who is ranked ninety nine places below her opponent. In their only previous meeting, also on clay, Li won in three sets. In the first set, Li needed just one break to take it 6-4 and she got an early break again in the second, to lead 4-3 with the American pushing her on most points. At 3-5 Mattek-Sands served to stay in the match but handed Li her place in the final with a double fault at 15-40. The final score was 6-4 6-3 and the match took just over an hour and a half.

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