Serena beats Sharapova to reach ninth Miami final

Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:10pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

MIAMI (Reuters) - World number one Serena Williams continued her decade-long domination over Maria Sharapova with a clinical 6-4 6-3 win on Thursday to reach her ninth Sony Open final.

The rematch of last year's final produced the same result as Williams, a six-time winner on the Miami hardcourts, ran her winning streak against Sharapova to 15 matches, a stunning run that stretches back to 2004.

Sharapova and Williams, who have both achieved a career grand slam and held the number one ranking, were expected to develop into one of the great rivalries in women's tennis.

But it has not quite worked out that way with Williams winning 16-of-18 meetings between the two.

In Sharapova's 16 losses, the Russian has only managed to take two sets off the 17-times grand slam winner.

"Despite my results against her, I still look forward to playing against her because you learn so much from that type of level which she produces," said Sharapova. "There is no reason for me to have any pressure because of my results against her.

"She's an incredible champion. That's the reason she's at the top.

"She's accomplished a lot, her tennis speaks for itself and I have nothing to lose out there against her."   Continued...

Mar 27, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Serena Williams (right) shakes hands with Maria Sharapova (left) after their match on day eleven of the Sony Open at Crandon Tennis Center. Wiliams won 6-4, 6-3. Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports