Svetlana Kuznetsova scored her first victory over Maria Sharapova in seven years to reach the final of the Madrid Open 6-2, 6-4 on Friday.

Defending champion Sharapova was the heavy favourite to reach the final for a third consecutive year with the 29-year-old Kuznetsova having spent nearly six hours on court in the past two days to reach the last four.

However, it was the two-time Grand Slam champion who dictated from the off and didn’t drop her serve once in the match.

Two breaks were enough to wrap up the first set in just over half an hour and despite an improvement from Sharapova in the second, another break in the fifth game of the second was all the Russian needed to reach her first premier mandatory final since 2009. – Agence France-Presse

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