PARIS, June 6 (Reuters) - Defending champion Maria Sharapova bludgeoned her way past Belarussian third seed Victoria Azarenka 6-1 2-6 6-4 to reach the French Open final on Thursday.
The Russian second seed, who will take on world number one Serena Williams or Italian fifth seed Sara Errani, served 12 aces and 11 double faults in a see-saw contest.
The four-times grand-slam champion dropped serve in the first game before racing through the opener in less than half an hour, spraying Court Philippe Chatrier with forehand winners.
Double Australian Open champion Azarenka hit back to take the second set but lost her momentum after a 30-minute rain interruption, Sharapova wrapping it up on her fifth match point after two hours 10 minutes.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ed Osmond