Three time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova and 21-year old Czech left-hander Petra Kvitova will compete on Saturday for the right to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish. Sharapova, a Wimbledon champion in 2004, pulverized another 21-year old, German wildcard Sabine Lisicki 6-4, 6-3 in Thursday's second semi-final to earn a return visit to the Ladies Singles Final after a 7 year absence. Her oponent in Saturday's showpiece is the no.8 seed, Kvitova, who battled with her own inconsistency to power past 4th seed Viktoria Azarenka in three exciting sets 6-1, 3-6, 6-2.
Sharapova started her semi-final like a bundle of nerves, losing the first three games in the blink of an eye. The Russian superstar's first service game was not one she'd like to remember, dropping it to love, starting it with a double fault and ending it the same way. Lisicki held a break point in the fourth game which would have given her a 4-0 lead, but Sharapova saved it and got on the board a minute later holding for 1-3. From that stage on it was all Sharapova right through the set. Maria broke Lisicki in the following game to bring the set back on serve and soon levelled up the set at 3-3. Lisicki won just one more game in the set after that initial burst as Sharapova broke serve in the 9th game before serving out the set in fitting style with an ace, a far cry from her double fault to start it.