The women’s final of the Italian Open will be contested by Russian third seed Maria Sharapova and Carla Suarez, the 10th seed from Spain.
Sharapova, the favourite following the third round withdrawal of defending champion Serena Williams, overwhelmed compatriot Daria Gavrilova 7-5, 6-3 to book her second final since claiming a second successive title in 2012.
Spanish 10th seed Suarez kept herself in contention for only her second career title by squeezing past Simona Halep (2-6, 6-3, 7-5) and into the final of the Italian Open earlier on Saturday.
Suarez, whose only tournament win to date was at Oeiras in 2014, defeated both Jelena Jankovic of Serbia and Czech fourth seed Petra Kvitova on her way to a last-four match-up with Halep in Rome.
— WTA (@WTA) May 16, 2015
But the Barcelona-based player had to dig deep against the second-seeded Romanian before securing a final against Sharapova.
Halep, who had ended the hopes of Venus Williams in the third round before sweeping compatriot Alexandra Dulgheru aside in the quarter-finals, was unstoppable in the first set. But the Romanian fell victim to unforced errors throughout a second set that saw her Spanish opponent level the match.
It could have gone either way in the decider after Suarez took her lead to 6-5 in the final set.
The 26-year-old Spaniard secured match point with a great shot down the right hand side of the court with Halep stranded at the net, and sealed the win when the Romanian netted a return.
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