"It's the first time I'm playing her on clay and her best results have been on clay," Sharapova said. The second semi-final between Wozniacki and Sharapova was the contest of the day though. In Sunday's championship match, Sharapova will face Samantha Stosur after the sixth-seeded Aussie bested Australian Open runner-up Li Na 7-6 (8-6), 6-0 to reach her first final of 2011.
In the quarter-final, Sharapova lost the first set 4-6 Friday but had taken a 3-0 lead in the second over No. 3-seeded Victoria Azarenka when the Belarusian retired. While Caroline Wozniacki had defeated former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic in the quarter-finals on Friday in three sets with a 6-3, 1-6 and 6-3 on the clay court in Rome.
Maria Sharapova of Russia made into semi-finals of the 2011 International BNL d Italia WTA Tournament, after world No. 3 ranked Victoria Azarenka retired from the match, due to elbow injury.
Sharapova and Wozniacki have split their previous four meetings, with Wozniacki taking the last two. Wozniacki won a 6-1, 6-2 decision this year in California.