Maria Sharapova is far from the best mover on clay, but this time her power was too much for Caroline Wozniacki’s defensive game, and the Russian earned her first victory over a No.1 player since her comeback from a serious shoulder injury in May 2009 and also the 24-year-old reached the final of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia tournament in Rome for the first time. Maybe her fiancé’s support made all the difference.
Sharapova won the last five games of the semifinal and the last game she won to love, while in the entire match she scored 36 winners to Wozniacki’s 15. Final result: 7-5 6-3. Not so promising prospects for Wozniacki’s French Open campaign – this year on red clay she was upset by Julia Goerges two times, in Stuttgart and Madrid, and now by Sharapova.
In the Sunday’s final of the $2,050,000 event, Sharapova will play last year’s French Open runner-up Samantha Stosur, who beat Li Na 7-6(6) 6-0 in the semis and reached her first final in almost a year. Sharapova is 7-0 in career meetings with Stosur, but they have never played each other on clay, so this time the Australian could be in a better position. (photos courtesy of Tony)