Saturday, April 27, 2013

Li and Sharapova to meet in Stuttgart final

A big-serving Li Na will face defending champion Maria Sharapova in tomorrow's Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, and that won't be a good time for Sharapova to repeat today's performance and make 44 unforced errors. Sharapova also hit 42 winner in her semifinal match against Angeique Kerber today, but she was inconsistent and--in the second set--unable to generate much of anything. The defending champion's 6-3 2-6, 7-5 victory marked her third consecutive three-set match. Today's third set was tense, with Kerber breaking Sharapova the first time she served for the match.

Qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who beat both Sara Errani and Sabine Lisicki in her run to the semifinals, lost in straight sets to Li, whose serving was as good as it has ever been.

Sharapova is seeded 1st in the tournament, and Li is seeded 2nd. The two have met 13 times, and Sharapova has won 8 of those matches. Sharapova is 2-1 against Li on clay.

In doubles, the German team of Mona Barthel and Sabine Lisicki will play in the final against Mattek-Sands and Sania Mirza. Mattek-Sands and Mirza eliminated the other German team (Kerber and Andrea Petkovic) in the semifinals.

Meanwhile, in Marrakech, the finalists are Lourdes Dominguez Lino and 6th seed Francesca Schiavone.

At the Portugal Open, Annika Beck--who took Petra Kvitova to three sets in Stuttgart--lost in qualifying to Vania King.

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