Sharapova, Li win Italian Open semis

May 19, 2012 at 1:57 PM

ROME, May 19 (UPI) -- Defending champion Maria Sharapova and Li Na won Saturday and advanced to the finals at the Italian Open.

The second-seeded Sharapova clipped No. 12 seed Angelique Kerber Saturday 6-3, 6-4 to reach her fourth finals of the year and move closer to a second consecutive crown in the French Open tuneup.

Li made it to the finals by default after Serene Williams withdrew from Saturday's semifinals match with a lower back injury.

Williams said later she would be ready to play in the French Open in eight days.

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