Siniakova beats Sharapova to reach Shenzhen Open final

Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic returns a shot during her women's singles semifinal match against Maria Sharapova of Russia in the Shenzhen Open tennis tournament in Shenzhen in southern China's Guangdong province, Friday, Jan. 5, 2018. (Chinatopix via AP)
Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic returns a shot during her women's singles semifinal match against Maria Sharapova of Russia in the Shenzhen Open tennis tournament in Shenzhen in southern China's Guangdong province, Friday, Jan. 5, 2018. (Chinatopix via AP)
In this photo provided by China's Xinhua News Agency, Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates after winning a quarter final match against Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan at the WTA Shenzhen Open tennis tournament in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province, Jan. 4, 2018. (Mao Siqian/Xinhua News Agency via AP)
Maria Sharapova of Russia returns a shot during her women's singles semifinal match against Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic in the Shenzhen Open tennis tournament in Shenzhen in southern China's Guangdong province, Friday, Jan. 5, 2018. (Chinatopix via AP)
In this photo provided by China's Xinhua News Agency, Maria Sharapova of Russia returns the ball during a quarter final match against Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan at the WTA Shenzhen Open tennis tournament in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. (Mao Siqian/Xinhua News Agency via AP)
Maria Sharapova of Russia returns a shot during her women's singles semifinal match against Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic in the Shenzhen Open tennis tournament in Shenzhen in southern China's Guangdong province, Friday, Jan. 5, 2018. (Chinatopix via AP)

SHENZHEN, China — Defending champion Katerina Siniakova defeated Maria Sharapova 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 on Friday in her first meeting with the five-time major winner to reach the final of the Shenzhen Open.

The sixth-seeded Siniakova hit 10 aces to set up a final on Saturday with top-ranked Simona Halep, who beat fourth-seeded Irina-Camelia Begu 6-1, 6-4.

"I'm so happy," Siniakova said. "You could see the emotions after I finally won the last point. It was a tough match for me, and even tougher to close it."

Sharapova, who is set for a return to the Australian Open which starts on Jan. 15, struggled with her serve, double faulting five times. Sharapova missed last year's tournament during a doping ban that dated back to a failed test for meldonium at Melbourne Park in 2016.

In the first semifinal in Shenzhen on Friday, Halep had 15 winners and four service breaks as she maintained her perfect record against her doubles partner, improving to 6-0 against Begu.

"It was a tough match, I know that she's a very strong player and in the second set, you could see that she was improving her game," Halep said. "I was strong enough to hit the ball (well) in the end."

Must Read

China says it can't end North Korea nuke program...

Sep 12, 2016

China says the United States has inflamed the conflict on the Korean Peninsula and must carry the...

Argentine soccer star Carlos Tevez signs $40M...

Dec 29, 2016

Argentine striker Carlos Tevez has signed to play for Shanghai Shenhua, becoming the latest in a...

Asian shares mixed as investors consider latest...

Jan 5, 2017

Asian stock indexes mixed as investors assess latest Fed meeting minutes; Japan shares slip as yen...

China pledges further cuts in excess steel, coal...

Jan 10, 2017

China's top economic planner has pledged to continue cutting steel and coal production, which have...

China exports shrink as Trump trade tensions loom

Jan 13, 2017

China's exports fell back into contraction again last month, signaling renewed weakness for the...

Sign up now!

Advertisement