HomeSportSerena sets up Sharapova showdown

Serena sets up Sharapova showdown


PARIS — The top two seeds — Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova — will contest today’s final at Roland Garros, but they took starkly contrasting routes to get there from Thursday’s semifinals.


Top seed Williams bulldozed her way past an outclassed Sara Errani of Italy 6-0, 6-1 in just 46 minutes. Defending champion Sharapova survived a second-set slump and a glut of double faults to ease past Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 2-6, 6-4.

It will be the first time since 1995, when Steffi Graf defeated top seed Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, that the two top seeds have contested the women’s final at Roland Garros.

The two have met 15 times with Williams ahead 13-2 and Sharapova has not won since she defeated the American as a 17-year-old newcomer at the season-ending WTA Championship in 2004.

The way Williams demolished the lightweight Errani, who gave Sharapova some problems in last year’s final, will mean that she will start a strong favouriite to bag her 16th Grand Slam title.

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