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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 November 2007, 16:54 GMT
Henin to face Sharapova in final
Justine Henin
Henin is looking to match Steffi Graf's unbeaten run of 1989
Justine Henin will play Maria Sharapova in the final of the Sony Ericsson Championships after the pair dominated their semi-finals on Saturday.

World number one Henin extended her winning streak to 24 matches with a 6-4 6-4 win over Ana Ivanovic in Madrid.

And Sharapova earlier continued her impressive end-of-season showing with a 6-2 6-2 victory over fellow Russian Anna Chakvetadze.

Henin and Sharapova go into Sunday's final at 1500 GMT unbeaten this week.

Sharapova has struggled with a shoulder injury this year but has shown no signs of it in Madrid.

606: DEBATE

After winning all three group matches, Sharapova broke four times as she completely dominated Chakvetadze.

The 20-year-old won the season-ending tournament in 2004 and made the semi-finals in the last two years, while Chakvetadze, also 20, was making her debut at the event.

And the gulf in experience showed as Sharapova, with a 5-0 record in head-to-head meetings, came through a testing first service game to reel off five straight games.

Chakvetadze often struggles to contain her emotions on court and at times she looked close to tears as the second set raced away from her.

Maria Sharapova
Sharapova came to Madrid with just one win since August

Sharapova showed no mercy as she closed out the win in one hour 14 minutes.

"It's pretty incredible because if someone told me about two weeks ago that I was going to play the Championships I would have been just happy to play," she said.

"To be here is great and to be in the final is even better."

Henin went into her semi-final with a 2-0 record against Ivanovic and having thrashed the Serbian in this year's French Open final.

Ivanovic put up sterner resistance this time around but after an early break was forced to battle from behind in both sets, slipping 5-2 down in the first and 3-0 in the second.

Henin held on both times and can now equal Steffi Graf's 25-match unbeaten run of 1989 and become the first player to win 10 titles in a season since Martina Hingis in 1997.

"It is going to be a tough final, she's got nothing to lose," said Henin. "She's had a tough season but now she's back at her best level and she's a champion."

SEE ALSO
Sharapova eases to Ivanovic win
09 Nov 07 |  Tennis


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