Two out of two for Sharapova in Madrid

Maria Sharapova powers to her second consecutive win at the WTA Championships defeating Belgium's Kim Clijsters 6-4, 6-4.

india Updated: Nov 09, 2006 15:35 IST

Maria Sharapova powered to her second win in two days at the WTA Championships here defeating Belgium's Kim Clijsters 6-4, 6-4 in a top-quality encounter.

The 19-year-old Russian put herself on the cusp of reaching the semi-finals with a dominant display against an opponent who had clawed her way back to top form after an injury-ravaged summer.

Sharapova pocketed the first set 6-4 but had to withstand a determined fightback by Clijsters in the second.

The US Open champion had to stave off break points in the second and fourth games, but did so mainly thanks to her big serve, one of the most powerful in the women's game.

She then struck in the fifth game to get a vital break of serve and moved out to 5-2 ahead before Clijsters staged one brave last stand.

The Belgian broke Sharapova's serve for the first time in the eighth game and then held her own to get to 5-4.

She then had two break points to level the set, but once again Sharapova produced her best tennis and she ran out a confident winner in 1hour 29minutes.

Earlier Svetlana Kuznetsova showed Sharapova she was not the only on-form Russian in town with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Elena Dementieva in the same red group.

Number four Kuznetsova had to fight hard in the opening set as her rival, already beaten in straight sets by Sharapova on Tuesday, rebounded after losing the first two games but succumbed in 1hr 50min to a service winner.

It was Dementieva's eighth straight loss at the year-ending event after she lost all her group matches in her two previous appearances.

First Published: Nov 09, 2006 15:35 IST