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By Jess Fagan

 

The top two seeds will face off against each other in the women’s final at the Australian Open, after Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova both won their semi-finals.

 

Serena is through to her sixth final at Melbourne Park after she managed to dismiss rising American star, Madison Keys, 7-6 6-2. It was a spirited performance from 19-year-old Keys, who broke in the very first game and finished with 12 aces and 27 winners.  Williams admitted that her younger opponent pushed her and she had to dig deep mentally to get through the first set. She even tipped Keys to win the Australia Open very soon.

In the end though, the experience of the world number one shone through and she emerged victorious to set up another clash with long-time rival, Maria Sharapova. The statistics are definitely in Serena’s favour. She’s beaten Sharapova the last 15 times they’ve played each other and she hasn’t lost to the Russian star in 11 years. Williams also has an impressive record in the finals at Melbourne.

 

However, Sharapova was also in menacing form in her semi-final. She too played a younger compatriot, Ekaterina Makarova, beating her in straight sets. Sharapova isn’t letting her terrible record against Williams put her off. She claims she’s going into the final feeling confident and she belongs on centre court on finals day.

 

It’ll no doubt be a bruising baseline encounter with plenty of power on display from both players. Sharapova will be desperate to break the voodoo and that hunger to win might just be enough to get her over the line.

 

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