French Open 2012: Day 12 Scores, Results and Recap
The women's final is set.
Tournament upstart Sara Errani continued her amazing run with an upset over Samantha Stosur, while Sharapova continued her torrid play at Roland Garros with a dominant victory over Petra Kvitova.
Thursday was all about the ladies, so let's take a look back on these two matches and the ladies, who, with divergent paths are en route to the final.
Tournament Darling Sara Errani Moves On
|Samantha Stosur (6)||5||6||3|
|Sara Errani (21)||7||1||6|
Sure, she was 0-5 against Stosur. Sure, she had never reached a Grand Slam semifinal before today. Sure, she was the diminutive underdog facing the polished physique of the more experienced Stosur.
But none of it mattered, because at the end of the day, she was the winner.
Errani beat Stosur by not beating herself, her 21 unforced errors were far less than the 48 committed by the favored Australian. Errani routinely kept her first serve in play and was the better for it, even if she never managed an ace (to Stosur's 11).
Perhaps Stosur choked, or perhaps Errani's style of play and poise simply translated better on the Roland Garros clay. She doesn't have the power of Stosur or her next opponent, Sharapova, but her steady, side-to-side steadiness works well on the clay.
She'll be the underdog once again heading into the final. Underestimate her at your own peril.
Maria Sharapova Takes Over Top Ranking in Women's Game
|Petra Kvitova (4)||3||3|
|Maria Sharapova (2)||6||6|
With the exception of Rafael Nadal—Roland Garros royalty at this point—no player has been as dominant at the French Open as Maria Sharapova.
And her win over Petra Kvitova elevated her past Victoria Azarenka as the WTA's top-ranked player. All that remains for her at Roland Garros is winning the title and earning herself a career Grand Slam.
Not bad for a tournament's work.
Sharapova was clinical once again, controlling the match with her wicked serve and keeping her composure, something Kvitova failed to do.
Kvitova didn't roll down and die—she bothered Sharapova for much of the match by utilizing her sheer power and hitting directly at her, cutting down Sharapova's return angles—but she was never consistent enough to win this match.
Who will win the final?
Thus, it set up a battle of true opposites. Errani is the small underdog who prefers guile to power guile. Sharapova is the tall, powerful server who is known around the world for her beauty and immense talent.
One came into this tournament unheralded and unknown outside of tennis circles, the other as one of the hottest stars in the WTA this season.
It's hard to bet against Sharapova, who has only dropped one set this entire tournament. While I expect her to win, I think Errani could keep this closer than people expect.
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