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Sharapova, Williams Meet in Hong Kong Final

American Venus Williams and Russia's Maria Sharapova have advanced to the finals of the JB Group Classic exhibition tennis tournament in Hong Kong.

Williams, a six-time Grand Slam tournament winner, beat Russia's Elena Dementieva in straight sets Friday, 6-3, 6-3. The American scored her sixth win over the Russian against only one loss all-time.

Sharapova scored a 6-4, 6-2 victory over compatriot Anna Chakvetadze. Both players lost their opening service games, but Sharapova took advantage of Chakvetadze's mistakes, and broke her compatriot in the fifth and seventh games of the second set.

Against Williams, Sharapova is 3-2, including three wins on hard courts. The matches were the semifinals for the Gold Group, made up of winners early in the tournament.

The silver group is for players who lost in the earlier rounds. There will be a JB Gold Group and a JB Silver Group champion.

The tournament is also one of several events that players are using to hone their skills before the first major of the year, the Australian Open, starts January 14th in Melbourne.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP .