Miami Masters final - Serena Williams vs. Maria Sharapova (16:00 GMT)

Maria Sharapova (credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Serena Williams takes on Maria Sharapova this afternoon in the final of the 2013 Sony Open in Miami (16:00 GMT start).

Having won 11 straight matches and 22 consecutive sets, normally you'd be backing Sharapova in a big final like this, but Serena really has the evil eye over the Russian and Sharapova hasn't beaten her rival since 2004.

Since then, Williams has racked up ten consecutive wins over her rival and humiliated her in the Olympic final last summer.

Sharapova also has a history of falling at the final hurdle in Miami. She's never managed to win the Miami Masters tournament despite reaching the final four times. She's been a strong favourite in a few of those, not least against Agnieszka Radwanska last year but was strangely subdued in that match and went down in straight sets.

Serena was hugely impressive as she blasted 40 winners past Radwanska to win their semi-final 6-0 6-3 on Thursday, but she's certainly not taking Sharapova for granted even though she's won 11 of their 13 matches.    

"Every match is a new match," Serena said.

"I love playing her. I love seeing her on the opposite side. She just always brings out a good game. I like the challenge of playing someone who has made history and who is doing so well. Maybe that's it - I really just want to play well against a great player."

"She's playing awesome. I definitely expect a tough match. She's a great player. What else can you expect? She hasn't lost in a long time, so I have to be ready. One thing about her is she constantly improves. I actually learn a lot from her from that. Hopefully I can do the same as her."

This should be a thriller.

Prediction: Williams in three.


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Miami Masters final - Serena Williams vs. Maria Sharapova (16:00 GMT)

Serena Williams takes on Maria Sharapova this afternoon in the final of the 2013 Sony Open in Miami (16:00 GMT start).

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