Maria Sharapova beat world No.4 Petra Kvitova 6-3 6-3 in the French Open semifinals to reach her first final at the tournament in three tries and reclaim the No.1 ranking, dethroning Victoria Azarenka who’s occupied the position for 19 weeks. Sharapova first became No.1 on August 22, 2005 and the last time she was No.1 was in 2008. In total, she spent 17 weeks on top of the rankings and from June 11, 2012 she will enter her 18th week.
There’s another milestone Sharapova can reach in the French Open final: she will have a chance to complete a career slam (own a title from each major) and become the tenth woman in history to do so.
Sara Errani overcame a second-set slump to upset Samantha Stosur 7-5 1-6 6-3, winning 12 of the last 15 points of the encounter to reach the championship match of Roland Garros. As seed No.21 and a player that exited a Grand Slam during the first three rounds on 17 out of 18 occasions (she played the quarterfinals of the 2012 Australian Open), Errani is a surprise finalist, but when you realize that she’s won the biggest number of titles on clay this season, with trophies in Acapulco, Barcelona and Budapest (16 straight claycourt matches!), it all makes sense.
But that’s not all, in Acapulco and Barcelona Errani won both the singles and doubles title with Roberta Vinci and this fortnight she’s reached the doubles final as well (her second career Grand Slam doubles final after Australian Open 2012).
Believe it or not, there’s more: Errani is now ranked No.24, and her career high is No.23, but after this French Open she will be in the Top 10, even though in the quarterfinals of the tournament she recorded her first Top 10 win in 29 tries.
Sharapova and Errani have never before played each other, which adds yet another touch of excitement to the match. Stay tuned, our stats expert Omair is set to do a preview of the grand final! (photo: © Neal Trousdale)