Olympics tennis: Serena Williams & Maria Sharapova into final

Maria Sharapova

American Serena Williams continued her sensational run of form by beating Victoria Azarenka to reach the Olympic women's singles final, where she will play Russia's Maria Sharapova.

Wimbledon champion Williams beat the Belarusian top seed 6-1 6-2.

She faces Sharapova in Saturday's showpiece after the third seed beat fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko.

The four-time Grand Slam champion, competing at an Olympic Games for the first time, came through 6-2 6-3.

Williams has dropped just 16 games all tournament and is on a 16-match winning run stretching back to her first-round loss to Virginie Razzano at the French Open.

The match will take place at 14:00 BST, with 30-year-old Williams having won their last seven meetings and eight out of 10 overall.

"I really look forward to playing Maria," said the 14-time Grand Slam champion. "We always have good matches and she has improved so much. It will be interesting.

"She's ranked higher than I am so I feel like I have nothing to lose. It will be a good battle."

Williams completely outclassed top seed Azarenka, making just five unforced errors to her opponent's 14 and hitting 33 winners to 12.

"When you're playing the best in the world you have to play better," Williams continued. "I can't just come out and expect to play well. That's what I did."

Sharapova completed the career Grand Slam with victory at the French Open in June and the 25-year-old is keen to add an Olympic title to her collection.

"It's incredible, not only to be part of this event and be an Olympian, but to put yourself in with an opportunity to go for gold," she said. "It's a really nice feeling.

"It's been amazing with what I have achieved. Growing up you have big dreams and you have hope of winning your certain favourite tournaments.

"I've been really fortunate to win all the Grand Slams and obviously this is my first Olympics so I'm just thrilled to be in the final."

Azarenka will play 14th seed Kirilenko in the bronze medal match.

Top Stories