Tennis-Serena beats Sharapova to reach ninth Miami final

MIAMI, March 27 Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:02pm GMT

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MIAMI, March 27 (Reuters) - World number one Serena Williams continued her decade-long domination over Maria Sharapova with a clinical 6-4 6-3 win on Thursday to reach her ninth Sony Open final.

The rematch of last year's final produced the same result as Williams, a six-time winner on the Miami hardcourts, ran her winning streak against Sharapova to 15 matches, a stunning run that stretches back to 2004.

Sharapova and Williams, who have both achieved a career grand slam and held the number one ranking, were expected to develop into one of the great rivalries in women's tennis.

But it has not quite worked out that way with Williams winning 16-of-18 meetings between the two.

In Sharapova's 16 losses, the Russian has only managed to take two sets off the 17-times grand slam winner.

Proving there is no place like home, Williams, who lives an hour's drive from the Tennis Center at Crandon Park, has won the Miami event more than any other tournament, the six titles one better than her five U.S. Open, Australian Open and Wimbledon grand slam wins.

She can add a seventh Miami trophy to her collection on Saturday against the winner of Thursday's other semi-final between Chinese world number two Li Na and Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova. (Editing by Frank Pingue)

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