So finally the two names for the final of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia / WTA Rome: Li and Sharapova!
|Chinese Na Li [L] faces Defending Champion Sharapova[R] in WTA Rome Final Sunday|
After the two semi finals of the day, the defending champion and world no.2 Russian Maria Sharapova and 9th ranked Chines Li triumph and will face each other Sunday 20 May 2012 in the women singles final of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia.
Na Li could no play 6th ranked American Serena Williams, who was on a 17-matches clay court winning streak, as Serena Williams pulled out of the match owing to her lower back injury.
This provides Li Li an opportunity to contest for her first WTA title since winning her first Grand Slam title at the French Open last year.
Maria won her German Angelique Kerber to move into the final to defend her title.
Sharapova leads Li in their head-to-head series, 6-4, but it's very streaky. Sharapova won their first five matches in a row, followed by Li winning four matches in a row - and in their 10th meeting, their only 2012 meeting, it was Sharapova who won handily in the quarterfinals of Miami in March, 6-3 6-0.
So here are two ladies: one defending her title and the other all set to clinch it from her to win her first major title almost in a year.
The match is scheduled for Sunday, 20 May 2012 at 11:45 GMT.