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Maria Sharapova overpowers Daria Gavrilova to reach Italian Open final

ROME -- Two-time Rome champion Maria Sharapova reached the final of the Italian Open on Saturday by overpowering qualifier Daria Gavrilova 7-5, 6-3 in an all-Russian matchup.

Sharapova hit 27 winners to Gavrilova's 10 and recovered a break early in the second set.

Sharapova's opponent in Sunday's championship match will be 10th-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain, who fought through her nerves and rallied past second-seeded Simona Halep 2-6, 6-3, 7-5.

Aiming for her second career title, Suarez Navarro improved to 4-0 in her career against Halep on clay. She created trouble for the Romanian with her one-handed backhand and looping shots.

"Her style is to hit the ball very high. It disturbs me, and I couldn't hit anymore in the third set," Halep said.

Suarez Navarro needed seven set points to close out the second set and three to end the third. The match lasted nearly 2½ hours.

This is the last big warmup for the French Open, which starts next weekend.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.