Maria Sharapova out dueled Caroline Wozniacki 4-6,6-2,6-4 to advance to her second successive final at the Sony Ericsson Open.
Sharapova saw a 4-1, double break lead disappear in the first set as her serve collapsed. Wozniacki captured five consecutive games to steal the opening set.
Still Sharapova was able to turn the match around. Subsequent to breaking the initial game and holding, Sharapova struck a forehand winner to again build a double break advantage.
This time around by racing ahead 5-1, Sharapova was able to ultimately close out the second set.
The third set after failing to convert on a bevy of break points, Sharapova finally banked the break for 3-2. Then, the Russian seized another break for 5-2.
Despite Wozniacki resisting, salvaging a match point and narrowing the deficit to 4-5, the second time of asking, Sharapova put the match to bed.
A three time finalist at the Sony Ericsson Open including last year, Sharapova will attempt to grab her initial title in South Florida. Sharapova is also striving for her first trophy of 2012 after being second best to Victoria Azarenka at the Australian Open and Indian Wells.
Sharapova’s opponent will be either Marion Bartoli or Agnieszka Radwanska, their match will take place tonight. Sharapova has a winning record against both ladies despite not competing against Bartoli since 2010.