Sharapova sees off Hingis

Sharapova sees off Hingis
By Eurosport

17/03/2006 at 21:53Updated

Maria Sharapova claimed her second consecutive match against Martina Hingis to reach Indian Wells final after a 6-3 6-3 win. Sharapova, who will play her first final of the season since last year's Qatar Open, overpowered the 25-year-old Swiss star with b

"The score doesn't show how physically and mentally tough challenging every point was," said Sharapova.

"The quality of the match was very high level. Mentally, I told myself: 'It doesn't matter how many balls she gets, do everything possible to get one more ball back'."

The pair had met twice already this year, with one win apiece, but the 19-year-old took control of the third encounter.

Sharapova looked determined to impose herself on Hingis from the opening moments on a windy Stadium Court.

The Russian made 29 winners , to only 8 for Hingis. The Swiss tried to defend as well as she could but couldn't control her pace.

That was Sharapova's best match in a long time as she even hit a succession of drive-volley winners.

Hingis looked out of the match at 6-3 4-1 down and facing two break points, but Sharapova's resolve wavered and the Swiss battled back to trail 4-3 on serve.

Sharapova then had treatment for blisters at the changeover and the break clearly helped as she broke to love before serving out the match.

Sweet revenge for Dementieva

Sharapova will face Russian compatriot Elena Dementieva, who came back from a set and two breaks to upset top seed and 2004 Indian Wells champion Justine Henin-Hardenne 2-6 7-5 7-5.

At that moment, Henin-Hardenne started to be a little tentative and Dementieva reduced her errors to set one of the sweetest come back and win of her career.

Henin had a 7-1 lead in their previous meetings and nothing could signal that match would last 2 hours and 52 minutes.

Dementieva dig as deep as ever to break back twice and win the match.

Henin-Hardenne finished the match with 70 unforced errors, while Dementieva was at 64, or six points made the difference in this unbelievable comeback.