Stuttgart Open: Maria Sharapova claims her 15th straight win on clay
Last Updated: 28/04/13 2:44pm
Maria Sharapova: Edged out home favourite Angelique Kerber
Top seed and defending champion Maria Sharapova made it through to the final of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart after beating home favourite Angelique Kerber.
The Russian eased to victory in the first set without even facing a break point, but could she could not maintain that momentum as she was broken twice to surrender the second.
The deciding set was a far tighter affair with both players tested to the limit and she committed two consecutive double-faults to drop her serve at the start of it.
But Sharapova won the last eight points and clinched the match when her third-seeded opponent hit a backhand long to claim a 6-3 2-6 7-5 win.
It was her 15th straight win on clay and she will be looking to secure her second title of the year on Sunday after winning in Indian Wells.
"All credit to Angelique, she played a great match," said the world No 2.
"I won this tournament last year on the way to the French Open so I am really pleased to get back into the final again."
Sharapova will next face Li Na from China after she defeated qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands in straight sets.
The American, who is ranked 104th in the world, put up a decent fight but the second seed proved too strong in the end, coming through 6-4 6-3 to reach Sunday's final.