Australian Open : Serena Williams to face Maria Sharapova in final

Serena Williams will face Maria Sharapova in the Australian Open final after the pair won their semi-finals in straight sets in Melbourne.

World number two Sharapova won an all-Russian contest against Ekaterina Makarova 6-3 6-2.

Williams, the top seed, converted her ninth match point to beat fellow American Madison Keys 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.

Williams, 33, capped a fine performance with a dramatic ending as she saw seven match points slip by at 5-1, before converting her ninth with an ace and a scream in the following game.

Keys, 19, matched Williams for power but not always control as the 18-time Grand Slam champion edged a tight match over one hour and 24 minutes.

The world number one, a five-time champion in Australia, recovered from 3-0 down to force a tie-break and clinched it with a big serve.

A fired-up Williams bounced up and down in delight at the baseline, and powered on with a break at the start of the second as she began to dominate the Keys second serve.

Williams flipped a brilliant forehand winner around the net post on her way to breaking again at 4-1 and eventually closed out after that gripping seventh game.

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Sharapova, the 2008 champion, had earlier needed one hour and 27 minutes to beat 10th seed Makarova for the sixth time in six meetings.

The 27-year-old coped well on serve after saving two break points in a testing 10-minute opening service game, easing into a 4-1 lead.

Makarova, 26, hinted at a comeback when she broke for 4-3 but Sharapova responded immediately and served out the set after 48 minutes.

When she hammered away a backhand for the double break at 3-0 in the second, there was no way back for Makarova.

Sharapova made it six games in a row, saving two more break points at 4-1, to seal a place in her 10th Grand Slam final.

The Russian has a 2-16 record against Williams and has not beaten the American since 2004.

Read more at BBC Sport