Sharapova vs. Azarenka: No. 1 rivals to battle for Australian Open title

    Three-time grand slam champion Maria Sharapova (left) and world No. 3 Victoria Azarenka will face off Saturday.

    Story highlights

    • Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka will contest Saturday's Australian Open final
    • Russian fourth seed Sharapova beat Czech No. 2 Petra Kvitova 6-2 3-6 6-4
    • No. 3 Azarenka reached her first grand slam final with win over champion Kim Clijsters
    • Three-time grand slam Sharapova won their most recent meeting in May 2011
    In terms of age, just two years separate Australian Open finalists Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka. But in terms of what the two young women have achieved in their tennis careers so far, they are poles apart.
    Since bursting onto the scene as a 17-year-old Wimbledon champion in 2004, Sharapova's model looks and three grand slam triumphs, combined with her rise and fall from the top of the world rankings, have kept her in the public eye.
    In contrast, the 22-year-old Azarenka is enjoying her finest run at one of tennis' four major tournaments. Thursday's 6-4 1-6 6-3 semifinal win over defending champion Kim Clijsters has put her within touching distance of a first grand slam title.
    To add extra spice to Saturday's Melbourne showdown, both world No. 4 Sharapova and the third-ranked Azarenka can claim top spot with victory in the Rod Laver Arena showdown