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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 January 2008, 06:28 GMT
Sharapova too strong for Jankovic
Maria Sharapova
Sharapova's all-round quality was too much for Jankovic
Maria Sharapova surged into the final of the Australian Open with an emphatic 6-3 6-1 victory over Jelena Jankovic.

The Russian, 20, outclassed the Serb, who was hampered by a back injury, and is now in sight of a third Grand Slam.

Sharapova, who won Wimbledon in 2004 and the US Open in 2006, raced into a 5-0 lead in the first set.

After a brief wobble, Sharapova took the first three games of the next and sealed the match, and will play Ana Ivanovic in Saturday's final.

Sharapova admitted that she momentarily lost her focus when so far ahead in the first set.

She spurned three set points and then served two double faults to lose her serve for the first time.

Although her first serve percentage was less than 50, Sharapova fired 20 winners in the nine games and finally clinched the opener with her sixth set point.

"I was up 5-0 and I was playing too good for my own level," she said.

"As everyone knows Jelena plays very well when she's behind. But I'm really pleased that I'm back in the final."

Jankovic left the court for treatment after losing her serve in the opening game of the second set.

"I wanted to withdraw, but it was not fair for the crowd," she said. "It's a semi-final, so I played how much I could to finish the match.

"When you get one injury, it's kind of like a chain. You get so many others because your body is trying to compensate."



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