Thursday, January 29, 2015 8:46 am
Second seed Maria Sharapova insisted Thursday her “terrible” record against arch-rival Serena Williams was irrelevant after booking an Australian Open final showdown with the American top seed.
Sharapova, 27, looked every inch a five-time Grand Slam champion as she demolished fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-3, 6-2 to make the ninth major final of her career.
But she will be facing an opponent in the decider who owns 18 Grand Slams and has a daunting 16-2 record over Sharapova, whose last victory against the world number one came in 2004.
The reigning French Open champion said she would concentrate on her form during this year’s tournament, eliminating four seeds including rising star Eugenie Bouchard on her way to the final, rather than past losses to Williams.
“I think my confidence should be pretty high going into a final of a Grand Slam no matter who I’m facing and whether I’ve had a terrible record, to say the least, against someone,” she said.
“It doesn’t matter. I got there for a reason. I belong in that spot. I will do everything I can to get the title.”
Quizzed on why her record against Williams was so poor, given her strength against other players on tour, Sharapova said she probably over-reacted to the American great’s power and aggression.
“I think that’s always made me a little bit too aggressive, maybe going for a little bit more than I had to,” she said.
“She’s great at making players hit that shot that you don’t necessarily have to go for — maybe going for a little too much, going on the line.
“It’s been a really difficult match-up for me, but I’m a competitor… I’ll go out and do everything I can to try to change that result around.”