Miami, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Top seed Serena Williams defeated No. 4 Maria Sharapova for the 15th straight time, 6-4, 6-3, to reach the Sony Open Tennis final for the ninth time in her career.
Williams had 21 winners and committed 22 unforced errors but Sharapova fared even worse, hitting just 15 winners to 29 unforced errors with five double faults.
Early in the match, it looked like Sharapova was finally going to break her losing streak against Williams as she took a 4-1 lead.
However, Williams started to unleash her own big serves and groundstrokes to steal the first set and eventually put away Sharapova in he second.
“I think she started out strong,” Williams said. “I made some unforced errors, and I had a lot of chances to be up first game, and then had some chances to hold serve and chances to break again.”
With the victory, Williams advanced to her ninth career final at the Sony Open Tennis, more than any other event in her career. Williams’ next-best tournaments in terms of finals reached are Wimbledon and the US Open – seven finals at each.
Williams is 6-2 in her previous eight Sony Open Tennis finals, winning the title in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2013. Her two losses came in 1999 and 2009.
Next up for Williams will be No. 2 Li Na or No.10 Dominika Cibulkova, who played at night.
On the men’s side, Tomas Berdych edged Alexandr Dolgopolov, 6-4, 7-6(3), to reach the semifinal of the event.
With his 450th tour-level win, Berdych is set to return to the Top 5 in ATP rankings Monday. He is the ninth active player to reach the landmark.
The 28-year-old Berdych is through to the semifinals at Crandon Park for the third time and will look to advance to the final for a second time when he takes on either World No. 1 Rafael Nadal or Milos Raonic.