Maria Sharapova has reached her third straight finals at Roland Garros after defeating 20 year old Canadian, Genie Bouchard, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2. Sharapova has won 19 of her last 20 matches at Roland Garros, her only loss came at the hands of Serena Williams in the finals last year. Sharapova is trying to relive some of the magic she found in 2012, after she marched through the field at Roland Garros & achieved the allusive career grand slam (wins at all of the major tournaments) and first title at the French Open. Sharapova won the title in 2012 after defeating the crowd favorite & one of France’s own, Sara Errani, 6-3, 6-2.
Sharapova’s road to the finals this year drew clear after the World No. 1 & defending French Open Champion, Serena Williams, was upset in the 2nd round. Before the tournament started, many fans had penciled in a Williams vs. Sharapova quarterfinals matchup. That potential matchup could have been a gigantic hurtle to overcome for Sharapova, who is winless versus Williams since 2004 and holds a 2-16 career record against Serena.
The match between Sharapova and Bouchard for a chance at a finals berth was a clear example of Sharapova’s clay dominance. Sharapova has proved to be the “Queen of Clay” over the past 3 years, partly due to her charm and grace on and off the court, but particularity due to the impressive 53-4 record Sharapova holds on clay since 2010. Sharapova took her normal, not necessarily good, “slow start” approach to this match, dropping the first 6-4 to Bouchard. Sharapova battled back resiliently in the next two sets, fight off the 20 year old, 7-5 in a well contested 2nd set. In the 3rd set, Sharapova started to mix in her proven experience at grand slams to go along with her overall talent on the clay surface, asserting her dominance over the future star from Canada, 6-2 in the 3rd.
Sharapova will take on 22 year old & soon to be World No. 3, Romanian, Simona Halep in the finals on Saturday. Sharapova holds a 3-0 record versus Halep. These two last met in the finals of Madrid Open in early May in which Sharapova won 1-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Maria Sharapova French Open Attire