Sunday's final will mark the fourth time this year and sixth time overall that Azarenka and Sharapova played for a WTA tournament title. Azarenka won the first two such meetings in 2012 but Sharapova took the most recent.
Sharapova earned her spot in the finals with a 6-4, 6-0 decision over seventh-seeded Li Na. After the close first set, Sharapova lost only nine points in taking the second set.
Azarenka defeated ninth-seeded Mario Bartoli 6-4, 6-2 behind six breaks in nine receiving games. Azarenka won 58 percent of the points serving and 59 percent when receiving serve.
Azarenka is 6-4 lifetime versus Sharapova. The most recent meeting, won by Azarenka in three sets, was in the U.S. Open semifinals. Before that they had a string of championship match appearances in 2012 with Azarenka taking the Australian Open and a tournament in California before Sharapova won in Germany.
Azarenka is 12-11 in WTA title matches. However, she's lost in her last three finals, including at the U.S. Open. Sharapova's finals record is 27-17, with three wins this year.
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