Maria Sharapova beats Ana Ivanovic to reach China Open final
Last updated on .From the section Tennis
World number four Maria Sharapova reached the China Open final with a 6-0 6-4 win over Ana Ivanovic in Beijing.
The 27-year-old Russian, a beaten finalist in 2012, powered ahead by taking the first seven games.
Ivanovic began to find her touch in an entertaining second set but fourth seed Sharapova sealed victory in an hour and 28 minutes with her fourth match point.
She will play third seed Petra Kvitova on Sunday after the Czech player overcame Samantha Stosur 6-3 5-7 6-2.
Kvitova reeled off five games in a row to close out the match in two hours and 21 minutes.
Having triumphed in last week's inaugural Wuhan Open, Kvitova will move to world number two if she wins the final.
|Recent China Open women's finals|
|2013: Serena Williams beat Jelena Jankovic 6-2 6-2|
|2012: Victoria Azarenka beat Maria Sharapova 6-3 6-1|
|2011: Agnieszka Radwanska beat Andrea Petkovic 7-5 0-6 6-4|
|2010: Caroline Wozniacki beat Vera Zvonareva 6-3 3-6 6-3|
|2009: Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 6-4|
Ivanovic had won the two most recent encounters with Sharapova, but trailed 8-4 overall in their matches dating back to 2006.
Sharapova, who also won the first set 6-0 in her quarter-final victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova, refused to let Ivanovic settle into the match, securing the third game when 40-0 down on her opponent's serve.
Keeping the ball away from Ivanovic's forehand she took the first set in 31 minutes, with the Serb guilty of 14 unforced errors.
Ninth seed Ivanovic won consecutive games to lead 2-1 in the second set before Sharapova broke in the ninth to serve for the match at 5-4.
In a 10th game containing six deuces, in which Sharapova mixed four double faults with three aces, it seemed Ivanovic had levelled the set at 5-5.
But a challenge that had been missed by many amid the noise from the crowd showed the ball had clipped the outer part of the baseline and the Russian went on to complete victory.