On Thursday afternoon at the 2012 French Open, world number two-ranked Maria Sharapova of Russia defeated fourth-ranked Petra Kvitova, 6-3, 6-3 in the semifinals. Sharapova will play in her first French Open Final and has reclaimed the top spot atop the WTA Rankings in the process, and is one win away from a career Grand Slam. Sharapova is a three-time semifinalist at the French Open. She will face world number 21, Sara Errani of Italy on Saturday in the finals. Sharapova won at Wimbledon in 2004, the U.S. Open in 2006 and the Australian Open in 2008.
"It's nice to be in this position again. It's my third time in the semifinals here," Sharapova said. "Petra's an extremely tough opponent, someone I have had good success against in our last couple of meetings, but they're always tough matches. The last one in Stuttgart was a tough two-setter for me—she had opportunities in that second set and when she's confident, she's dangerous."
Errani upset world number six and 2011 U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur in a three-set victory, advancing to her first Grand Slam final with a 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 victory. Errani made 21 unforced errors, while Stosur more than doubled that with 47. Errani had previously played Stosur six times and lost all six.
"When I lost to her in Rome a few weeks ago, I felt the match also depended on me, not just her," Errani said. "It was a bad thing because I didn't think I played a good match there, but it was a good thing because I knew I just needed to play better."
Not only will it be her first major final, Errani will now break into the top 10 in the WTA Rankings. Errani is now in two of the French Open finals, facing Sharapova for the singles and playing in the doubles final with partner Roberta Vinci against Maria Kirilenko & Nadia Petrova for the doubles title.
The last woman to make the finals of both singles and doubles at the French Open was Kim Clijsters in 2003. If Errani wins both finals, she will become the first woman to win both since Mary Pierce in 2000. Before Roland Garros, Errani was 0-28 against opponents she faced in the top 10. She now has wins against number 10 Angelique Kerber and number six Stosur.