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Sharapova eases past Clijsters

Maria Sharapova continues to struggle with her game, but in the end proves too strong for the Belgian defeating her 6-4 6-2.

india Updated: Jan 25, 2007 12:40 IST

Top seed Maria Sharapova eased into her first Australian Open final with a 6-4 6-2 victory over fourth seed Kim Clijsters on Thursday.

The 19-year-old Sharapova continued to struggle with her game, but was too strong for the Belgian making her last appearance at Melbourne Park, sealing victory on her first match point in one hour 23 minutes.

The pair exchanged two early breaks each in a scrappy first set before Sharapova took the Belgian's serve again in the 10th game to secure it in 42 minutes.

Sharapova, the U.S. Open champion, raced into a 3-0 lead in the second set and despite serving eight double faults and making 33 unforced errors the Russian will play unseeded American Serena Williams in the final.

First Published: Jan 25, 2007 12:36 IST