Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka Reach Final Of 2012 China Open

Maria Sharapova (click to enlarge)

There would be no fairy tale ending at the 2012 China Open for Li Na as she ran into a fierce and determined Maria Sharapova in the semifinals. Li Na jumped out to a quick 3-1 lead, but it was all Masha after that. Sharapova hit another gear, winning 11 of the final 12 games, soundly dismissing the hometown hero Li, 6-4 6-0. Sharapova looks really good on court right now. She’s only playing in her 13th event of the year. Compared to some other players, that’s a fairly economical schedule. However, it has also been a wise one for Masha, as she seems much fresher than I’ve seen her at the end of years past. And she will need it in her next match.

Victoria Azarenka (click to enlarge)

If there’s anybody at this year’s China Open with just as much focus and resolve to win the title as Masha, it’s Victoria Azarenka. Vika punched her ticket to the final with a 4 and 2 win over Marion Bartoli. Of course, every top player has a group of loyal fans, but Vika vs Masha is probably the final most anticipated. And there is no love lost between these two rivals. My head tells me to pick Vika to win, but I look at Masha’s wins this year, all 3 on clay courts. That surface was once seen as her weakest. I think Sharapova might just be due for another hardcourt title.

Singles – Semifinals
(1) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. (9) Marion Bartoli (FRA) 64 62
(2) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (7) Li Na (CHN) 64 60

















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