MADRID - Maria Sharapova secured her place in the final of the WTA Tour's Madrid Open for the second consecutive year with a comfortable 6-1 6-4 win over Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska yesterday.
The four-time grand slam champion will face Romanian Simona Halep in tonight's final after she ground out a hard-fought 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-2 victory over fifth seed Petra Kvitova.
Sharapova has slowly begun to hit form in recent weeks on her return to clay conditions after a difficult start to the year and she stormed through the opening set for the loss of just 11 points.
The Russian was dominant again at the start of the second as she raced into a 3-0 lead, but Radwanska battled back to take four straight games and lead 4-3 with a break.
Unfortunately for the third seed, though, she gifted the break straight back and Sharapova also took the next two games to round off victory in little over an hour.
Earlier, Halep booked her place in her first ever final of a mandatory event after outlasting Kvitova after over two-and-a-half hours on court.