Sharapova overcomes Radwanska to set up Madrid final against Halep

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The second Madrid semi final was played between 3rd seeded and world number 3 Aga Radwanska and 8th seeded and the WTA’s 9th ranked Maria Sharapova. Going into this match, the Russian led the head to head 9 to 2 with the last time the Pole having beaten the Russian was in the final in Miami in 2012. The two had only played each other once since the end of year championships in 2012 – on clay in Stuttgart in April of this year, when Sharapova won 6-4 6-3.

Radwanska had to earn her money in a hard fought straight sets win against Eugenie Bouchard in the first round, followed by a really tough three setter against Svetlana Kuznetsova in the second round. She easily beat Roberta Vinci 6-1 6-1 in the 3rd round before having yet another marathon against 51st ranked Caroline Garcia in the quarters – which she won 6-4 4-6 6-4. Sharapova lost just three games in her first round match then battled through three sets to beat 56th ranked Christina McHale in the second round. She then took out Sam Stosur 6-3 6-4 and had a real humdinger against 2nd seeded Na Li in the quarters when she lost the first set 6-2.

Sharapova meant business when she came on court for the semi and blitzed Radwanska 6-1 in the first set in just 23 minutes of almost perfect power tennis, to which the Pole had no answer. She then raced to a 3-0 lead in the second set before Aga took the 4th game on her 2nd advantage point. The Pole started to get more first serves in and the Russian started to lose her concentration, allowing Aga to break in the 5th game, hold to level at 3-3 and break again to lead 4-3. Sharapova got a break of her own to level at 4-4 and took the next two games for the set at 6-4 and a place in her first ever final in Madrid.

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