Maria Sharapova has once again shown her pedigree to make the Cincinnati Masters decider as the Russian saw off compatriot and World No.2, Vera Zvonareva, in the semi-finals.
Last year’s runner-up in Ohio was outgunned in the first set as Zvonareva dictated the play to secure the opener 6-2. However, a visit from coach, Thomas Hogstedt, seemed to provide a boost for Sharapova in later play.
Brilliant shot choice from the Siberian native left Zvonareva running all over the court throughout the second set, with more of the same coming in the decider.
Hits such as ferocious two-hand back-hands appeared just too powerful for her opponent, allowing Sharapova to wrap up the tie at a 2-6 6-3 6-3 scoreline.
“In the second and third sets I had a bit more concentration, though the level did drop down a little bit at some moments, and I had a few more double faults. It gave her some confidence. I gave her a little bit more chances,” Zvonareva said of her defeat.
It’s Jelena Jankovic up next for the 4th-seeded Russian, with the Serb taking care of German Andrea Petkovic in Saturday’s other semi-final.
Former World No.1 Jankovic needed the help of a tie-break in the first set before blitzing her Yugoslav-born opponent in the decider, 7-6 6-1.