Sharapova into Sony Open final, Murray to semis

MIAMI Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:43pm EDT

1 of 5. Maria Sharapova of Russia hits a backhand during her semi-final victory over Jelena Jankovic of Serbia at the Sony Open tennis tournament in Key Biscayne, Florida March 28, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

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MIAMI (Reuters) - Russia's Maria Sharapova demolished Serbia's Jelena Jankovic 6-2 6-1 on Thursday to book her place in the final of the Sony Open, one of the few titles missing from her CV.

Britain's Andy Murray was also in great form, defeating Croatia's Marin Cilic 6-4 6-3 to reach the semi-finals of the men's draw.

Sharapova, an impressive winner at this month's Indian Wells event in California, extended her winning streak to 11 matches with a lopsided win in just over an hour against Jankovic, a former world number struggling to regain her best.

One of just 10 women who have won all four grand slams, Sharapova has been collecting titles all over the world but has never won the Sony Open, played in her home state of Florida, despite playing four previous finals.

"It would mean so much to me," she said in a courtside interview. "I love this city, it's the first city I landed in when I came to the United States as a little girl."

Sharapova's opponent in the final will be the winner of Thursday's second semi-final between world number one Serena Williams and Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska, last year's Sony Open champion.

Murray dropped his opening service game against Cilic but recovered quickly to wrap up a straight sets win.

The U.S. Open champion is the highest seeded player left in the men's draw after world number one Novak Djokovic lost to Tommy Haas and will leapfrog Roger Federer to second place in the world rankings if he wins the title.

(Reporting by Julian Linden in New York; editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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