Sharapova reaches third Miami final

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 3:45 PM ET

MIAMI, Fla. -- Two-time runner-up Maria Sharapova reached Saturday's final at the $4.5 million Sony Ericsson Open.

A 16th-seeded Sharapova came from behind to beat 21st-seeded German Andrea Petkovic 3-6, 6-0, 6-2 amid sunny, hot and breezy conditions Thursday on the hardcourts at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park.

After Petkovic easily took the opening set on Day 11, the former world No. 1 Sharapova roared back, winning 11 straight games at one point en route to a commanding 5-0 lead in the final stanza.

Sharapova prevailed in 2 hours, 7 minutes despite piling up eight double faults. She did, however, record seven service breaks in the big semifinal victory.

The 23-year-old Sharapova, who will appear in her first championship match of the year, is 22-11 in her previous career WTA finals. The three-time major champion was the back-to-back Miami runner-up in 2005 and 2006.

Sharapova's opponent on Saturday afternoon will be third-seeded fellow Russian Vera Zvonareva or eighth-seeded Belarusian Victoria Azarenka. Zvonareva was the runner-up at last year's U.S. Open and Wimbledon events. The capable Azarenka, who ousted defending Miami champion Kim Clijsters here on Wednesday, was the Miami champ two years ago.

The winner of this 13-day event will collect $700,000.


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