Tennis: Maria Sharapova fights past Sara Errani at Sony Open in Miami


Maria Sharapova remains on course to win her first ever title in Miami after a hard-fought win over Italian player Sara Errani. The Russian, now ranked second in the world, struggled on serve throughout the match, putting in no less than 13 double faults and 57 unforced errors, but eventually won 7-5 7-5 to reach the semi-finals at the Sony Open. Sharapova will face Jelena Jankovic in the last four as the Serbian player defeated Roberta Vinci in three hard-fought sets. In the men's tournament David Ferrer fought back from a set down to defeat Jurgen Melzer 4-6 6-3 6-0 and advance to the men's semi-finals.

Sharapova, aged 25, had a very tough match with Errani and had to save a break point in a very long 10th game of the second set, before winning the next two games to wrap up the match in a grueling two hours and 29 minutes. "I had a really difficult opponent," said Sharapova, a four-time Grand Slam champion. "She really made me work for this match. A few ups and downs in the match but I'm really happy to get through."

Sharapova has finished runner-up no less than four times in Miami, losing to Kim Clijsters in 2005, Svetlana Kuznetsova in 2006, Victoria Azarenka in 2011 and Agnieszka Radwanska in 2012. "I've been so close to winning," she said. "I would love to win this. I've been coming to this tournament since I was a little kid. It would mean a lot to win it."

You can bet on the winner of the women's tournament at Bet365, Serena Williams is 4/7 to win while Maria Sharapova is priced at 2/1. You could win more by betting on a surprise winner, Agnieszka Radwanska is 10/1 and Jelena Jankovic is 20/1.

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