Top seed and defending champion Maria Sharapova won the 29th of her last 32 three-setters, and at this Porsche Tennis Grand Prix her third in a row, by edging German No.1 Angelique Kerber 6-3 2-6 7-5 in her home country in Stuttgart and advancing to the final of the Premier-level tournament in which she will face second seed Li Na.
From Sharapova’s 6-3 1-0 lead, the third-seeded Kerber took charge and won eight of the next nine games, then Sharapova went on a run of five of the next six games, before Kerber leveled the score to 6-3 2-6 5-5. The Russian force had the final say, though, as she finished the match by winning the next two games to love. Kerber is now 0-8 against Top 2 players.
Li Na followed Sharapova into the final, by stopping surprise semifinalist Bethanie Mattek Sands 6-4 6-3. (via WTA Tour, photos: sr_cranks)