Updated: Saturday, 26 April 2014 22:09 | By Agence France-Presse

Titleholder Sharapova outclasses Errani to reach final

Defending champion Maria Sharapova moved to within one victory of her third straight Stuttgart title after a 6-1, 6-2 win over Italy's Sara Errani in Saturday's semi-final.

Titleholder Sharapova outclasses Errani to reach final

Russia's Maria Sharapova returns the ball to Italy's Sara Errani in their semifinal match at the WTA Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart on April 26, 2014 - by Thomas Kienzle

Sharapova, who won the title in 2012 and 2013, needed just under an hour to see off clay-court specialist Errani in what was a repeat of the 2012 French Open final which the Russian also won.

"It's my first tournament on clay and at the start of the week, I set the goal of improving from match to match," said Sharapova.

"It went well for me again today."

Sharapova, 27, raced into a 3-0 lead winning eight of the first 10 points and took the first set in just 27 minutes with some powerful ground strokes.

The Russian picked up where she left off in Friday's 6-4, 6-3 quarter-final win over world-number three Agnieszka Radwanska and converted six of her eight break points against Errani.

The 26-year-old Italian was never allowed to find her rhythm as Sharapova dominated the second set.

The statuesque Russian, who has never won a tournament three times running, will face the winner of the all-Serbian semi-final between former number ones Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic in Sunday's final.

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