Maria Sharapova to face Ana Ivanovic Stuttgart final

Maria Sharapova remains on course for a third straight Stuttgart title after thrashing Italian Sara Errani in the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix semi-finals.

The Russian, seeded sixth, won 6-1 6-2 in 59 minutes to claim her 12th consecutive victory at the tournament.

Sharapova, who missed four months last year following shoulder surgery, is trying to win her 30th WTA title.

Sharapova stays in the top 10

Anything less than a semi-final place in Stuttgart would have seen Sharapova slip outside the world's top 10 for the first time since March 2011.

Ninth seed Ana Ivanovic beat fellow Serb and fifth seed Jelena Jankovic 6-3 7-5 in the second semi-final.

Sharapova leads Ivanovic 7-2 in career meetings, with the Russian having won twice last year on clay in the Stuttgart quarter-finals and Madrid semi-finals.

"The further you go in the tournament, the harder it gets, and I really wanted to step up and produce a good performance," said Sharapova.

"The first tournament on clay is always tough - it's important to improve with each match and I think I've done that this week.

"I know how good Sara is on the surface and I was extra ready to perform against her.

"She has a lot of experience and really knows how to play, so I had to take care of things on my side of the net."