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Maria Sharapova Defeats Petra Kvitova to Advance to French Open 2012 Finals

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 07:  Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates victory and becoming WTA world number one after her women's semi final match against Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic during day 12 of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 7, 2012 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Wes ODonnellFeatured ColumnistJune 7, 2012

The only player more dominant than Maria Sharapova this week at Roland Garros has been Rafael Nadal.

The 25-year-old Russian superstar came into the 2012 French Open looking to complete a career Grand Slam, and she's now only one win away from doing just that.

Sharapova, the No. 2 seed in the tournament, defeated fourth-seeded Petra Kvitova today to advance to the third final in her last four majors.

This is the first time, however, she's reached the final in the French Open.

Sharapova slammed home an ace to finish off Kvitova 6-3, 6-3 in straight sets and will face surprise finalist Sara Errani on Saturday. Regardless of the outcome, Sharapova will reclaim the No. 1 spot in the world thanks to her performance thus far at Roland Garros.

Errani won't be an easy win, though. The 21st-seeded player in the tournament, the 25-year-old Italian knocked off three higher-seeded opponents to reach the final, including sixth-seeded Samantha Stosur in the semifinal.

But Sharapova is performing at a different level and has dropped only one set all tournament.

The two have never faced each other in professional competition, so we could see some fireworks. Errani has shown remarkable resiliency fending off some of the best the women's bracket has to offer, but now she'll have to defeat arguably the best of them all.

It's been a bit of an up-and-down career for Sharapova, but she seems to be dialed-in like never before. If she is to capture the French Open, she'll be only the 10th woman in history to achieve a career Grand Slam.

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