Maria Sharapova Takes On Sara Errani for 2012 French Open Title

2012 Women’s French Open Championship
#2 Maria Sharapova (-410) vs #21 Sara Errani (+330)
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Roland Garros – Paris, France
Playing Surface: Red Clay
Saturday, June 9, 2012, 9:00 am Eastern, TV: NBC

Maria Sharapova takes on Sara Errani in the women's final at the French Open. Sharapova is a -410 favorite to win her first French title and completing the career grand slam.

Maria Sharapova is 25 from Russia, She is 35-5 this season with wins at Stuttgart and Rome, both on clay. She also has runner-ups this year at the Australian Open, Indian Wells, and Miami. Sharapova has one title each at the Australian, Wimbledon, and U.S. Opens. Sharapova hasn’t won a grand slam since the 2008 Australian Open but she has made the semis at 3 of the last 4 majors. She regained the number one ranking by advancing to her first French Open Final. Sharapova will complete the career grand slam if she beats upstart Sarah Errani in the Championship Saturday.

Sharapova has dropped just one set in a tiebreaker in 6 matches so far. Sharapova has wins over Alexandra Cadantu, Ayumi Morita, #28 Shuai Peng, Klara Zakopalova, and #23 Kaia Kanepi in the quarters. Sharapova dropped a set to Zakopalova in the fourth round. No other player has won more than 3 games in a  set against Sharapova so far.

Sharapova beat #4 Petra Kvitova in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 in the semifinals. Sharapova had a first serve percentage of 79% to Kvitova’s 62%. Sharapova had 3 aces, 3 double faults, and 17 errors. Kvitova had 0 aces, 2 double faults and 20 unforced errors. Sharapova converted 4 of 6 break points, and Kvitova was only 1 for 5 on breakers. Sharapova dominated in total points won as well 63-45.

Errani is 25 from Italy. She is 35-10 this season with wins at Acapulco, Barcelona, and Budapest, all on clay. She made it to the quarterfinals at the Australian Open this year, the first time she had ever advanced that far in a grand slam event.

Number 21 seed Sara Errani has faced a much tougher road to the semifinals than Stosur. She has dropped two sets so far, and went to a tiebreaker in another. Errani has wins over Casey Dellacqua, Melanie Oudin, #13 Ana Ivanovic, #26 Svetlana Kuznetsova, and #10 Angelique Kerber in the quarterfinals. She dropped the first set to Dellacqua in the first round and to Ivanovic in the third round. Before her victory over Kerber, Errani had been 0-28 against top 10 players. Errani also won the women’s doubles title with her partner Roberta Vinci.

Errani beat #6 Samantha Stosur in the semifinals. Errani won the first set 7-5 and dropped the second set 6-1. Errani won the third set 6-3 to advance to her first ever grand slam final as a singles player. Errani’s 1st serve percentage was a blistering 86% and Stosur was 71%. Errani had 0 aces, 2 double faults, and 21 unforced errors. Stosur had 11 aces and 3 double faults but 48 double faults doomed her in the loss. Stosur had 46 winners to 22 for Errani. Stosur converted 4 of 8 break points, and Errani was 4-11 on break points.

Sharapova and Errani have never played before. It will take some time to figure each other out. Errani is having a break-out year, and already has 3 tournament victories on clay this year. She has already won a championship at Roland Garros as she won the women’s doubles title. However, Sharapova is playing some of the best tennis of her career. She desperately wants to win the French to complete the Career slam, something that no one has done since Serena Williams. I like Sharapova to win, but it won’t be easy. Sharapova wins in 3 tough sets.

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