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Williams eyes Azarenka final after thrashing Sharapova

Serena Williams powered past Maria Sharapova to reach the final of the Qatar Open on Saturday.

Story highlights

  • World No.1-elect, Serena Williams to face Victoria Azarenka in final of Qatar Open
  • Williams beats Sharapova in straight sets to progress; Azarenka dispatches Agnieszka Radwanska
  • Rafael Nadal through to final of Brazil Open with three-set win over Martin Alund
  • Juan Martin del Potro to face Julien Benneteau in Sunday's World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam
Serena Williams thrashed Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-2 to reach the final of the Qatar Open on Saturday.
The soon-to-be oldest women's world no.1 needed only 73 minutes to get past the Russian and set up a meeting with defending champion Victoria Azarenka on Sunday.
"Maria is always playing really well and so consistent, but I'm trying to be consistent as well," 31-year-old Williams said, WTATennis.com reported.
"I love it here in Doha. I've never played this particular tournament but I've played in Doha before and had some good results, and I hope to have a good result in the final, too," Williams, who is seeking a 48th career title, added.
Top seed Azarenka beat Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 6-3 in the other semifinal.
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"I think it was a really high performance match from both of us," Azarenak said, WTATennis.com reported.
"It was a little bit shaky in the beginning -- I think I did a little bit too many unforced errors and rushed a little bit into the rallies, but I started to be patient and more aggressive and dominant, really going for my shots when there was an opportunity, and taking advantage of every short ball she gave me," she added.
Meanwhile at the World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, Juan Martin del Potro will face Julien Benneteau in Sunday's final.
The giant Argentine reached his second successive final at the tournament with a 6-4 6-4 win over Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria.
Frenchman Benneteau -- who stunned Roger Federer in the quarterfinals on Friday -- had a slightly tougher time of it against compatriot Gilles Simon, but came through 6-4 7-6.
Over in Sao Paulo, Rafael Nadal will face former World No. 3 David Nalbandian in the final of the Brazil Open after both men won their semifinals.
The 31-year-old Argentine reached his 24th tour final after beating Italy's Simone Bolelli 6-3 7-5. Nadal needed three sets to get past Argentina's Martin Alund, eventually prevailing 6-3 6-7 6-1.