Sharapova beats Azarenka to reach French Open final

Updated: Jun 06, 2013, 23:15 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

Paris: Maria Sharapova struggled hard to beat Victoria Azarenka and reach the final of the French Open for the second straight year on Thursday.

Sharapova won 6-1 2-6 6-4 in what was a thrilling encounter.

The second seed will now face either Serena Williams or Sara Errani of Italy, who she beat in last year`s final in Saturday`s championship match.

"I really had to play to the end today and I am extremely happy to be back in the final," said Sharapova.