Maria is through to the final of the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships in Istanbul after she defeated world number one Victoria Azarenka of Belarus. Maria won 6-4 6-2 in an hour and 36 minutes.
In the first set, Maria broke Azarenka’s serve to lead 2-1 on her third opportunity. After a trade of breaks in the next two games, Maria held her serve to lead 4-2. Both players hold their serves in the next four games as Maria hits a forehand winner on set point to take the set 6-4.
Maria took a double break lead in the second set to lead 4-0 and dropped only two more games as she booked her spot in her eighth final of 2012.
In Sunday’s final, Maria will play Serena Williams of the United States. Maria has played Williams eleven times before and trails the series 2-9, here are the matches they have played against each other:
2004 Miami R4: Williams won 6-4 6-3
2004 Wimbledon Final: Maria won 6-1 6-4
2004 WTA Championships Final: Maria won 4-6 6-2 6-4
2005 Australian Open Semi-Final: Williams won 2-6 7-5 8-6
2007 Australian Open Final: Williams won 6-1 6-2
2007 Miami R4: Williams won 6-1 6-1
2008 Charleston Quarter-Final: Williams won 7-5 4-6 6-1
2010 Wimbledon R4: Williams won 7-6 6-4
2011 Stanford Quarter-Final: Williams won 6-1 6-3
2012 Madrid Quarter-Final: Williams won 6-1 6-3
2012 Olympics Final: Williams won 6-0 6-1
Maria will finish 2012 in second spot in the WTA rankings.