Key Biscayne, FL (Sports Network) - In a battle of former world No. 1s, Maria Sharapova outlasted Caroline Wozniacki to reach the final at the $4.828 million Sony Ericsson Open.
The second-seeded Sharapova got past the fourth-seeded Wozniacki 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 in just over 2 1/2 hours at Crandon Park outside of Miami.
Sharapova appeared well on her way to capturing the opening set Thursday by running out to a 4-1 lead, but her mighty forehand abandoned her for a stretch as Wozniacki surprisingly won five straight games to take the stanza.
The three-time Grand Slam champion Sharapova, however, fought back to take the second set handily, setting the stage for a tight third.
Sharapova tallied two breaks to the Danish Wozniacki's one in the final set, which the Russian ultimately closed out by holding serve.
An angry Wozniacki exited the stadium without shaking the chair umpire's hand.
On the final point of the match, a Sharapova serve was called long by a linesman, which would have given the point to the Dane via double fault, but the umpire overruled the call, which gave Sharapova another shot to successfully close out the game, and the match, at 40-30, which she did with an overhead winner.
A television replay showed the umpire was correct with his overrule.
The powerful Sharapova is now 4-2 lifetime against Wozniacki.
Sharapova's opponent in Saturday's final will be Aggie Radwanska, who defeated former Wimbledon runner-up Marion Bartoli of France 6-4, 6-2.
Radwanska, who was a big winner in Dubai last month, was ahead 6-4, 4-2 when a power outage halted play. After a brief stoppage, the fifth-seeded Pole promptly closed out Bartoli, who had handed Australian Open champ Victoria Azarenka her first loss of the year here on Wednesday night.
She became the first Pole to advance to the final here and secured the No. 4 world ranking with the win.
Sharapova, who is 7-1 lifetime against Radwanska, will now compete in her 40th career WTA final, seeking a 25th title. She's looking for her first championship of 2012, having lost to Azarenka in finals at Indian Wells and the Aussie Open this year.
The 24-year-old Sharapova lost to Azarenka in last year's Miami final and the championship match at Indian Wells two weeks ago. She is a three-time Sony Ericsson Open runner-up who will appear in her fourth final here in eight years.
Saturday's big winner will pocket $712,000.