Maria Sharapova Will Give Serena Williams Run for Her Money in French Open Final

Benjamin Klein@BenjaminJKleinContributor IIIJune 6, 2013

Will Maria Sharapova finally defeat Serena Williams?
Will Maria Sharapova finally defeat Serena Williams?Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Serena Williams has looked unbeatable this year at the 2013 French Open, but Maria Sharapova has played well, too. If anyone is capable of taking down Williams at Roland Garros, it’s certainly Sharapova.

The 26-year-old Russian will get the opportunity to defeat the No. 1 seed when she takes on Williams in the French Open final on Saturday.

Sharapova is looking to win her second consecutive and second career title at Roland Garros, while Williams is also seeking her second, winning her lone Grand Slam at the French Open in 2002.

The top two seeds at the French Open have both been great on clay this year. Williams is a perfect 22-0 while Sharapova is 17-1. It’s a shame that one of them is going to lose at the French Open, but the match is a lock to be exciting and competitive.

Competitive is the complete opposite of every match that Williams has played in thus far at Roland Garros. She needed a third set to defeat Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarterfinals, but other than that, she has cruised to the final. She absolutely crushed Sara Errani in the semifinals in what some might call a perfect match.

But what could turn out to be a problem for Williams is that she hasn’t really been tested at all yet. Sure, she lost a set in the quarterfinals, but no one was thinking that she’d end up losing the match. She was by far the better player and wasn’t going to get upset for the second straight year.

Sharapova, on the other hand, has played some tough opponents her last two times on the court. She was shut out in the first set against Jelena Jankovic in the quarterfinals and then nearly fell apart completely in the semifinals against Victoria Azarenka. After the second set, it was a toss-up as to who would be victorious.

But now that Sharapova has made it into the final at Roland Garros, she will be attempting to do something she’s never been able to do: defeat Williams. In 12 opportunities to win against Williams, Sharapova has failed to do so each time. That’s a monkey on her back that I’m sure she’d like to get off.

In the French Open final, that is possible.

Sharapova hasn’t played at the level Williams has at the French Open, but there’s no doubt that she’s been playing well. She’s a good clay player that needs to finally figure out how to beat the No. 1 women’s tennis player in the world. That’s not going to be easy, but it is possible.

Sharapova might not come out victorious on Saturday, but she definitely will be difficult to beat, and Williams will not play another perfect game, like she did against Errani. Williams may end up winning her second title at Roland Garros, but she won’t walk all over Sharapova, if that’s the case. Sharapova will give her a run for her money.