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Sharapova, Errani in French Open final

June 8, 2012 at 6:33 AM   |   Comments

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PARIS, June 8 (UPI) -- Maria Sharapova can join some of the most storied names in women's tennis with a French Open win.

Sharapova, who will be ranked No. 1 in the world effective Monday, goes against Sara Errani, the tournament's No. 21 seed, in Saturday's singles final.

A win over Errani, who she's never played before, would give Sharapova the personal Grand Slam. She has won at Wimbledon (2004), the U.S. Open (2006) and the Australian Open (2008) but Saturday marks her first appearance in the finals at Roland Garros.

If she does complete the personal slam, Sharapova, 25, would join Margaret Court, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf and Serena Williams as the only women to accomplish the feat in the Open Era. Maureen Connolly Brinker, Doris Hart, Shirley Fry Irvin and Billy Jean King also won the personal Grand Slam.

Sharapova reached the final with a 6-3, 6-3 win Thursday over fourth-ranked Petra Kvitova. She has dropped just one set in her first six matches in the tournament and only twice lost more than three games in a set.

Errani, also 25, is far from the big name Sharapova is. She had only reached one Grand Slam quarterfinal before the French Open before she ousted sixth-seeded Samantha Stosur in her semifinal 7-5, 1-6, 6-3.

Errani beat 10th-ranked Angelique Kerber in the quarters. Before that she had been 0-28 versus Top 10 players. Now she is 2-28 and, as of Monday, she'll be a Top 10 player herself.

Sharapova was never before known as a competitor with great success on clay courts but is 16-1 on them this year. Errani, too, has been strong on clay this year. At one point she'd won 16 consecutive matches on the surface, picking up titles at Acapulco, Barcelona and Budapest.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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