Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova will contest the final of the Australian Open after both players came through tough semi-finals.
Sharapova, who is 11/10 with bookmaker to lift the trophy, defeated Petra Kvitova 6-3 3-6 6-4, while Azarenka also took three sets to see off defending champion Kim Clijsters 6-4 1-6 6-3.
Sharapova, who will be bidding to win her fourth Grand Slam, was pleased to have avenged her 2011 Wimbledon final defeat to Kvitova in a gruelling encounter, but had to fight for every point against the second seed.
“Sometimes even when you’re not playing your best tennis you can find a way to win,” said the Russian.
“No matter how good or bad you play you just try to win your point and that’s what I tried to do.”