(January 3, 2014) No. 1 Serena Williams made it 14 straight wins over Maria Sharapova on Friday when the American bested the Russian 6-2, 7-6(7) to move into the final of the Brisbane International tennis tournament.
Defending champion Williams will face No. 2 Victoria Azarenka for the title on Saturday. Azarenka had to battle past Jelena Jankovic 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.
The first set saw Sharapova and Williams exchange early breaks, with the world No. 1 pulling out and past Sharapova 6-2 in the first set.
In the second set Sharapova grabbed a 4-2 lead which she could not hold. Both women broke each other’s serve 3 times each during the set which ended in a tiebreak. Williams grabbed the first minibreak and missed out on two match points. Williams sealed the match on her third match point with an ace.
It was a match which saw both women hit more errors than winners with Williams hitting 23 winners to 34 errors while Sharapova had 16 winners to 23 errors. Williams won despite only getting 41% of her first serves in with 7 double faults and seven aces.
This was first meeting between the two women since last year’s French Open final. Williams improved he dominate record over Sharapova to 15-2.
“Overall happy that I can compete at this level, I really have to take the positives from this,” said Sharapova.
“If I want to give myself a chance to beat Serena I have to raise my level”
“It was very satisfying,” Williams said of the win. “Some of the points were fun, the intensity level was so high….I was really enjoying myself”
“She’s so intense on court and off court she’s so cool, there’s a lot of mutual respect, “Serena said of her opponent in the final.
“It’ll be a good match to see where we both stand”
December 29, 2013 – January 5, 2014
Results – Friday, January 3, 2014
WTA Singles – Semifinals
(1) Serena Williams (USA) d. (3) Maria Sharapova (RUS) 62 76(7)
(2) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. (4) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) 16 63 64
WTA Doubles – Semifinals
Mladenovic/Voskoboeva (FRA/KAZ) d. Minella/Scheepers (LUX/RSA) 63 64
ATP Singles – Quarter-finals
 R Federer (SUI) d M Matosevic (AUS) 61 61
 K Nishikori (JPN) d M Cilic (CRO) 64 57 62
 J Chardy (FRA) d [WC] S Groth (AUS) 75 64
L Hewitt (AUS) d [Q] M Copil (ROU) 64 62
ATP Doubles – Quarter-finals
 M Fyrstenberg (POL) / D Nestor (CAN) d [WC] M Ebden (AUS) / T Kokkinakis (AUS) 75 46 10-8
SCHEDULE – SATURDAY, 4 JANUARY 2014
PAT RAFTER ARENA start 12:00 noon
ATP –  J Murray (GBR) / J Peers (AUS) vs  M Fyrstenberg (POL) / D Nestor (CAN)
Not Before 1:00 pm
ATP – L Hewitt (AUS) vs  K Nishikori (JPN)
Not Before 3:00 pm
ATP –  R Federer (SUI) vs  J Chardy (FRA)
Not Before 7:00 pm
WTA –  S Williams (USA) vs  V Azarenka (BLR)
WTA – K Mladenovic (FRA) / G Voskoboeva (KAZ) vs A Kudryavtseva (RUS) / A Rodionova (AUS)
ATP – TBA – R Federer (SUI) / N Mahut (FRA) vs  J Cabal (COL) / R Farah (COL)
Auckland, New Zealand
December 30, 2013 – January 4, 2014
Results – Friday, January 3, 2014
Singles – Semifinals
(2) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) d. (3) Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 60 76(3)
Venus Williams (USA) d. (5) Jamie Hampton (USA) w/o (right hip injury)
Doubles – Semifinals
(3) Hradecka/Krajicek (CZE/NED) d. Pliskova/Pliskova (CZE/CZE) 63 61
Order Of Play – Saturday, January 4, 2014
Centre Court (from 12.00hrs)
1. Doubles Final: Fichman/Sanchez vs. Hradecka/Krajicek
2. Singles Final: Venus Williams vs. Ana Ivanovic (NB 14.30hrs)