Maria has maintained her unbeaten record at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany as she defeated No.3 seed Angelique Kerber of Germany to reach the final. Maria won 6-3 2-6 7-5 in two hours and seven minutes.
Maria started the match strongly by breaking Kerber in the first game when Kerber hit a backhand into the net. Maria broke again in the final game of the set and won the set 6-3.
In the second set, Maria won the first game but Kerber came back to win five games in a row to lead 5-1. Maria won one more game in the set as Kerber took it 6-2.
Kerber got an early break in the third set but Maria hit a backhand winner to level the set 2-2. A forehand crosscourt winner gave Maria a break to lead 5-3 but Kerber came back to level the set 5-5. Maria held her serve in the following game and in the final game broke Kerber’s serve to love and won the match on a backhand long.
In Sunday’s final to be played at 2.00 PM local time, Maria will play No.2 seed Li Na of China. Maria leads the series 8-5. Here are the matches they have played against each other:
2005 Australian Open R3: Maria won 6-0 6-2
2006 Miami R2: Maria won 6-2 6-4
2006 Birmingham R3: Maria won 6-2 6-4
2006 US Open R4: Maria won 6-4 6-2
2009 Roland Garros R4: Maria won 6-4 0-6 6-4
2009 Birmingham SF: Li won 6-4 6-4
2010 Birmingham F: Li won 7-5 6-1
2011 Roland Garros SF: Li won 6-4 7-5
2011 WTA Championships RR: Li won 7-6 6-4
2012 Miami QF: Maria won 6-3 6-0
2012 Rome F: Maria won 4-6 6-4 7-6
2012 Beijing SF: Maria won 6-4 6-0
2013 Australian Open SF: Li won 6-2 6-2