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Sharapova, Wozniacki in Indian Wells final

March 16, 2013 at 10:15 AM

INDIAN WELLS, Calif., March 16 (UPI) -- Maria Sharapova used a straight-set win late Friday to advance to the finals of the BNP Paribas Open and regain the world No. 2 ranking.

Sharapova defeated No. 13-seeded Maria Kirilenko 6-4, 6-3 in earning a spot in the tournament finals against eighth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki.

With defending champion Victoria Azarenka unable to play her quarterfinal against Wozniacki, the points for advancing to the finals means Sharapova will move from No. 3 to second in the rankings update Monday. Serena Williams remains No. 1.

Sharapova fought off six break points and lost just 15 points in nine games serving. She wrapped up the match by winning 16-of-17 points on serve in the second set while cashing in two break chances.

Earlier Friday, Wozniacki, rallied to defeat Angelique Kerber 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 in a 2 1/2-hour match.

Wozniacki, ranked 10th in the world, will be trying for the 27th tournament title of her career. She improved her 2013 match record to 15-6 with the victory over Kerber, earning fourth third-set breaks to advance.

Neither Wozniacki nor Kerber had been in action since the quarterfinals, both having won their semifinal matches in walkovers when their scheduled opponents withdrew with injuries.

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