Maria Sharapova vs. Angelique Kerber – Semi-Final Preview: Internazionali BNL D’Italia 2012

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Maria Sharapova vs. Angelique Kerber – Semi-Final Preview: Internazionali BNL D’Italia 2012
Former world number one, Maria Sharapova, will square off against the ultra-fit German, Angelique Kerber, in the semi-final clash at the Internazionali BNL D’Italia 2012 on Saturday. The gorgeous Russian tumbled over her fellow former world number one, Venus Williams, in straight sets while Kerber rallied past the Czech ace, Petra Kvitova, in a three-set thriller to set-up this duel.
The second seeded Russian was broken once but cashed four out of nine break chances to crush Williams in their seventh meeting. She spilled several double faults but managed to carve out the victory with the help from a better first serve share of 60 per cent. Sharapova also impressively availed 29 out of 36 points on her first serve share and dominated the match with a 6-4, 6-3 success.
Seeded 12th in the tournament, Kerber warded off only two out of seven breakpoints she came across but edged past the Czech number one with a 7-6(2), 1-6, 6-1 victory after capitalising on five out of 14 break chances. She committed fewer errors and apart from producing a lower first serve share, the German marked 32 out of 53 points on it.
"Maria is a great player and has been playing very well this year," Kerber was quoted about the blooming Russian in a courtside interview after triumphing over the Czech. "I'll go out there, try my best and just have fun. I have nothing to lose."
Both challengers are battling each other for the third time with their previous two encounters coming earlier this circuit. The Russian number one toppled Kerber at the Australian Open in January. However, the German avenged her loss the following month, conquering Sharapova at the Open GDF Suez in Paris.
"It will be good to get a rematch, but then again on clay it's always a bit of a challenge with the lefty spin," Sharapova commented about the German after overpowering Williams. "It's a semi-final. Whoever gets here must be playing good tennis, so it will be tough."
The stars will be facing each other for the first time on clay. The Russian number one has re-ignited her 2005 spark, when she was the world number one, in the past few months. She has claimed a title on clay at the Porsche Open in Stuttgart (conquered the top seeded Victoria Azarenka in the final showdown) and cruised to the quarters at the Mutua Madrid Open last week.
Kerber on the other hand became the top German this week and will crack the top ten the coming week. The jubilant German bagged her both career titles this year. She outshined her opponents at the Paris WTA Premier event and at the e-Boks Open in Denmark to shelve the titles. However, she has not displayed her full potential on clay and lost in the quarters at the Porsche Open and in the third round at the Madrid WTA Premier event before entering this tournament.
As a result, Sharapova is expected to trounce the German with a 6-3, 6-4 score line.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the writer's own and in no way represent's official editorial policy.



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