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.

Read: Unbeaten in 10 years, wheelchair ace retires

"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.

Paralympic tennis star: I love the game
Paralympic tennis star: I love the game

    JUST WATCHED

    Paralympic tennis star: I love the game

MUST WATCH

Paralympic tennis star: I love the game 02:33
Rafael Nadal's injury heartache
Rafael Nadal's injury heartache

    JUST WATCHED

    Rafael Nadal's injury heartache

MUST WATCH

Rafael Nadal's injury heartache 06:48

"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.

Read: Nadal hits back at hardcourts

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.

      Tennis

    • Rafael Nadal of Spain watches the ball in his match against Martin Klizan of Slovakia during during day seven of the China Open at the National Tennis Center on October 3, 2014 in Beijing, China.

      What does 2015 hold for Rafa?

      Rafael Nadal's body might be giving him a few problems, but his mind remains as strong as ever. Will the Spaniard add to his haul of 14 grand slam titles?
    • LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17: Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and his long time girlfriend Kim Sears arrive at Buckingham Palace on October 17, in London, England. Murray will become an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and receive his medal from the Duke of Cambridge. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

      Love game: Andy Murray to tie knot

      The Scot has served up a few changes to his support team in 2014 but there's one person who isn't going anywhere -- his new fiancée Kim Sears.
    • Despite being forced to retire at the age of 24 due to health problems, Lacoste remained in the game and went on start the "Lacoste" brand in 1933, which specialised in tennis products. The inspiration for the company's logo came from his nickname as a player, "le crocodile."

      'Crocodile' who broke all the rules

      His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
    • Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

      Serena savors U.S. Open win

      Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
    • American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.

      The amazing life of Althea Gibson

      Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
    • Courting couple at match point

      "I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
    • LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 03: Tennis / Frauen: Wimbledon 2004, London; Finale; Siegerin Maria SHARAPOVA / RUS 03.07.04. (Photo by Bongarts/Bongarts/Getty Images)

      'Baby' Sharapova's big moment

      It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
    • 'Swiss Miss' follows mom's lead

      Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.