MOSCOW, October 27 (RIA Novosti)
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Maria Sharapova upset world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka in straight sets on Saturday to book an encounter with Serena Williams in Sunday's WTA Championships final.
Sharapova beat Azarenka 6-4, 6-2 after earning two early breaks in the first set and taking control in the second when Azarenka began to struggle with a problem affecting her right thigh.
"When you're playing the World No.1, you have to be ready for every shot - you have to run because the point can keep going and going," Sharapova said on the WTA website.
"I'd lost to Victoria the last few times, so I'm really happy I put myself in the semifinals to play against her and try to improve that - I was hoping to have a better result, and I'm really happy I did today."
The Belarusian leads Sharapova 7-5 in head-to-head meetings.
Despite the defeat, the Belarusian will hold the world No. 1 spot at the end of the season after winning six titles including her first Grand Slam tournament at the Australian Open.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.