It will be world No. 1 Serena Williams vs. No. 2 Maria Sharapova in the final of the 2013 French Open as both progressed to the championship match on Thursday in decidedly different manner.
Sharapova struggled in a scream queen stand-off against No. 3 Victoria Azarenka, eventually prevailing 6-1, 2-6, 6-3, while Serena muscled past No. 5 Sara Errani 6-0, 6-1.
“The way I played the first set — I wish I could have carried that through in two — but I did the job, and I’m happy from where I was in the beginning of the tournament to where I am today,” said the defending champion Sharapova. “I just hope I can improve for the next one.”
For the world No. 1 Williams the numbers are astounding: appearing in her 20th career Slam final, looking to improve on a 15-4 record, and on a 30-match winning streak, the longest of her career.
“Those stats are really good, and very consistent,” said Williams on her 40 winners to 12 unforced errors. “I’m just really focused right now.”
It is amazingly only her second appearance in a French Open final.
“I don’t think there’s anything that can describe how happy I would be,” Williams said of possibly raising the trophy again. “But right now it’s still a dream — I still have another match to play, hopefully to win. It’s still two people fighting for the championship.”
Contestants in the men’s doubles final were also decided as the top-seeded Bryan brother defeated the team of Peya/Soares 6-1, 6-4, and unseeded Frenchmen Michael Llodra and Nicolas Mahut topped Cuevas/Zeballos 7-6(4), 6-2.
With a win in the final, Llodra/Mahut would become the first French men’s doubles champions at Roland Garros since Henri Leconte and Yannick Noah in 1984. The Bryans are 1-4 career in Roland Garros finals.
On court Friday will be the men’s semifinals featuring (1) Novak Djokovic vs. (3) Rafael Nadal, and (4) David Ferrer vs. (6) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
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