by Helen Earnshaw |
Maria Sharapova overcame a slow start to book her place in the Wimbledon final for the second time in her career.
It was seven years ago when he lifted the title as a seventeen year old - since then she has won two more slam titles but has bee riddled with injury of later.
The former world number one has struggled back from shoulder surgery but now looks ready to win a second Wimbledon title as she power through her match with Sabine Lisicki.
Lisicki has been the story of the tournament having battled back from a ankle injury which saw her miss the 2010 season.
But she has set the courts of Wimbledon alive over the last two weeks and promised to be a good test for Sharapova.
And it was Lisicki who came flying out of the blocks as two good service holds and a break saw her race to a 3-0 lead.
It wasn't a vintage serving performance from Sharapova but she toughed out the next couple of games to get on the board before breaking back to level the set.
She took the opening set 6-4 before racing to a 3-0 lead of her own at the beginning of the second.
Sharapova had the measure of the Lisicki serve now as the German struggled to hold on in the early part of the set.
The former world number one was looking in fine form from the baseline to as she consistently found the corners and had too much power for the German.
Sharapova served for the set but Lisicki pulled out some great shots of her own as she got one of the breaks back.
But it was too little too late as Sharapova wrapped up a 6-4 6-3 victory in an hour and twenty six minutes.
Speaking to the WTA after the match Sharapova said: "Today wasn't my best match of The Championships so I was really happy to get through in two sets.
"Sabine started really well. The first three games she played really well and I did quite the opposite.
"She served a lot better, and I was giving her way too many free points on my serve. I told myself to take it one point at a time. I got in my zone and got back to 3-all.
"I was fortunate to win that set then get up a couple of breaks in the second."
She will now face last year's semi-finalist Petra Kvitova as she saw off fourth seed Victoria Azarenka.
FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw