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WILLIAMS 4-6 6-3 6-0 - GAME, SET & MATCH! Serena looks like she might getting a bit carried away as a double fault and then poor forehand into the net allows Sharapova to level at 30-30. But she quickly recovers with consecutive huge first serves that sees her wrap up the match with 10 games in a row.
WILLIAMS 4-6 6-3 5-0 - BREAK! Serena is now just one game away from an historic sixth Miami title as she breaks for a third straight time. She will be serving from the tougher end after the change of ends but she will also be serving for the match.
WILLIAMS 4-6 6-3 4-0 - Serena comes through a tentative hold to 30 when Sharapova again goes for a little too much on a forehand down the line centre of the court and instead hits long. Serena lets out a scream of "come on" to show exactly what that game meant to her and is Sharapova about to serve to save the dreaded bagel set?
WILLIAMS 4-6 6-3 3-0 - BREAK! A double fault from the absolute worst time for Sharapova hands Serena a break point. But it's not a break point she has to do anything to take advantage of, Sharapova desperately trying to salvage something with a big serve and instead slapping down a second straight double fault to concede her serve.
WILLIAMS 4-6 6-3 2-0 - Serena comes through a tough service hold to 30 (back up at the tricky end once again) to consolidate the break when Sharapova sends an ambitious cross court forehand attempt into the net. Serena looks like she might have the better of Sharapova now, unless the Russian can come up with something outstanding.
WILLIAMS 4-6 6-3 1-0 - BREAK! Despite a reassuring chat from her coach during the change of ends ("keep doing what you're doing, you're playing well, keep going to her forehand"), Sharapova quickly finds herself staring at two more break points. She is serving from the end looking at directly at the sun again. Serena does wrap up the break, however, Sharapova hitting just milimetres long - Serena stopping and successfully challenging the lack of an out call
WILLIAMS 4-6 6-3 - SET! Serving from end where the sun is causing the players most trouble, Serena quickly goes 0-30 down. But a lopping forehand long from Sharapova followed by a forehand winner from the American see her level at 30-30. An 120mph ace brings up set point for Serena and sure enough she does level up the match when Sharapova goes long with an agressive forehand return of serve.
WILLIAMS 4-6 5-3 - BREAK! Serena denies Sharapova on a first game point with a fearsome forehand return of serve winner that comes back before Sharapova has finished her service motion and then also on the second with another great return that Sharapova can only hit long. A spectacular kicking second serve ace out wide from Sharapova earns her a third game point but she can't take it and a double fault and a netted forehand hands Serena the break!
WILLIAMS 4-6 4-3 - Great anticipation at the net from Serena as she manages to get back a couple of attempted passing shots from Sharapova before finally finding the winner, a forehand volley down the line. From there Serena goes on to hold by pushing Sharapova deep behind the baseline and forcing the error, a forehand into the net from the Russian
WILLIAMS 4-6 3-3 - BREAK! Sharapova, wearing a visor, does not seem to be having the trouble with the sun that Serena, not wearing a visor is, but the American is clearly angry after that last game and earns herself three immediate break back points. She only needs the one, though, subjecting Sharapova to the break back to love, when the Russian nets a forehand.
WILLIAMS 4-6 2-3 - BREAK! Sharapova breaks to love! Serena has real difficulty with her serve, the sun almost directly overhead. But Sharapova is on fire, rattling off winner after winner, including an inch-perfect forehand down the line to bring up the break points before holding when Serena sends a forehand long down the centre of the court.
WILLIAMS 4-6 2-2 - Battling stuff from Sharapova as she holds to 15 with four very tough points, the Russian ending the game with a forehand winner. Just four games into this second set and it is on serve but Sharapova yells in celebration of holding that game.
WILLIAMS 4-6 2-1 - BREAK! Serena opens with a double fault before a second serve is punished by Sharapova, who sends it back for a winner. Another error from Serena, a netted backhand, hands Sharapova three immediate break back points. And although she cannot take advantage of the first, Serena catching the back of the baseline with a forehand, Sharapova does break at the second attempt with a forehand winner of her own.
WILLIAMS 4-6 2-0 - BREAK! Ferocious from Serena as she breaks to 30 in a bid to turn this match around quickly and put a halt to Sharapova's momentum. Serena pushes the Russian around the baseline, undoing even Sharapova's epic defence, eventually forcing the error - backhand just wide down the line.
WILLIAMS 4-6 1-0 - Williams holds to love to open the second set, four first serves including one ace doing the damage for the American
WILLIAMS 4-6 - SET! Sharapova races through a service hold to love to serve out the opening set. She has not taken a set off Serena since Charleston in 2008 and the American world number one will need to come back from a set down for a second time in this tournament if she is to take the title.
WILLIAMS 4-5 - BREAK! Serena is furious with herself after failing to move quite enough to a forehand across court and instead sending the ball long to hand Sharapova another break point. Serena saves it with an ace out wide but promptly slaps down a double fault to hand Sharapova a second chance. And this time Sharapova does break, pushing Serena from side to side on the baseline and eventually drawing the error. Sharapova will serve for the opening set after the change of ends.
WILLIAMS 4-4 - Sharapova also blows her chance at a love service game, a forehand into the net and a double fault from the Russian gifting Serena a deuce scoreline from nothing. The Russian earns herself a game point with an incredibly gutsy second serve that Serena can only return long and Sharapova holds to level up once again
WILLIAMS 4-3 - Much more agressive from Serena as she races out to a 40-0 lead only to send a forehand wide and long across court to allow the Russian back into the game. A backhand into the net from Serena further helps Sharapova's recovery before Serena does manage to seal the hold, with a backhand winner across court hit from the service line
WILLIAMS 3-3 - BREAK! Sharapova misses a first serve at exactly the wrong moment and Serena climbs all over the second, earning herself a break back point with a backhand return winner across court. The American does not have the problem of Sharapova though and breaks back at the first time of asking, the Russian going for too much on a backhand down the centre of the court and hitting long.
WILLIAMS 2-3 - BREAK! And this time Sharapova does seal the break, finding the very back of the line with a great attacking backhand that Serena can only return into the net.
WILLIAMS 2-2 30-40 - Serena nets a backhand to concede the first point of the game before a shoulder-height forehand winner from Sharapova driven across court from the mid-court sees Serena slip to 0-30 on her own serve. She pulls one back when Sharapova puts a backhand return long and then another in exactly the same manner. Serena nets a forehand though and Sharapova has another break point ...
WILLIAMS 2-2 - In comparison with Serena's last hold, Sharapova eases through to 15 with a deep first serve that the American can only net in return. That was a great game from the Russian after the disappointment of not breaking in the previous game and it slings all the pressure back over the net at Serena.
WILLIAMS 2-1 - Although Sharapova pegs Serena back from game point on another three ocassions, the Russian cannot earn herself another break point and eventually Serena holds with a cross court forehand winner off a mid-court ball. That was a real struggle for the world number one, though, this match alresady being 21 minutes old with just three games completed.
WILLIAMS 1-1 40-40 - Serena saves the break point with a cross court backhand before also saving a second with some great defensive hitting deep into the court eventually drawing the error, a backhand long from Sharapova. Serena completely mis-judges a backhand off a drop shot, pushing her ball well long to hand Sharapova a third break point. This time Serena makes no mistake with her backhand off the shorter ball, burying it in the open court to bring up deuce number six...
WILLIAMS 1-1 40-Ad - Sharapova really has started this clash in agressive fashion and levels at 30-30 with a cross court forehand passing shot winner, after somehow keeping herself in the rally with an earlier flicked forehand. Sharapova goes for a storming forehand return of serve winner on the next point only to miss across court but a double fault from Serena allows her to level at deuce. And this time a cross court backhand winner does earn her the break point...
WILLIAMS 1-1 - That was a big opening game for Sharapova, and she knows it celebrating with a yell of "come on" when Serena sends a forehand return wide across court. It was a hold to 15 for Sharapova, very important not to let Serena get away from her right at the very start.
WILLIAMS 1-0 - A statement of intent right from the off from Serena as she holds with an ace for just the loss of one point, a netted forehand from the world number one seeing that point go.
Serena won the toss and opted to receive so it will be the world number one to get things underway...
So, its the world number one against the world number two (the seedings for Miami were decided before Sharapova leapfrogged Victoria Azarenka in the world rankings).
Sharapove has not dropped a set yet in this tournament and Serena has only dropped the one - to Dominika Cibulkova when she was actually a set and a double break down before battling back to win in three.
Sharapova has never won the Miami Masters, although this is her fifth time in the final, including the last two years.
Serena is going for her sixth Miami Masters title (having already won in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007 & 2008) which would be a first for any woman past or present. Meanwhile Sharapova can become just the third woman to win back-to-back Masters titles after picking up the win in Indian Wells jus two weeks ago.
In fact of their 13 meetings, only three have gone the distance. Sharapova coming from a set down to win in three at the WTA Tour Championships in LA in 2004, before Serena picked up a come from behind victory at the Australian Open in 2005 and then survived a spirited second-set fightback from Sharapova in Charleston in 2008.
Williams has an 11-2 record against the Russian, including wins in their last 10 meetings. And, as if that wasn't bad enough for Sharapova - of those last 10 meetings, Serena has won the last six all in straight sets. Ouch.
World number one Serena Williams faces her closest challenger in the world rankings, Maria Sharapova, in the Miami final.
|Serena Williams||Maria Sharapova|
|Saginaw, MI||Place of birth||Nyagan|
|1.75 m||Height||1.88 m|
|70 kg||Weight||59 kg|