Serena Williams is seeking her first French Open title in 11 years, and Maria Sharapova is looking to capture her second straight. They’ll have to go through one another Saturday in the French Open final to achieve their individual goals.
After winning their semifinal matches Thursday, the top two seeds in the tournament will renew a rivalry that has become the most significant in women’s tennis. Williams leads the head-to-head battle with Sharapova 13-2 and has stunningly won the past 12 times the two have met on the court.
Making the challenge all the tougher for Sharapova, who is seeking her fifth Grand Slam title, is that Williams is completely on her game, having dismantled Sara Errani 6-0, 6-1 Thursday—her 30th consecutive victory in an impressive 2013 campaign.
The question now is whether the star-studded final can live up to expectations. The answer to that will largely depend on Sharapova’s confidence level against her primary nemesis, and whether even her best effort can be enough to knock Williams off her very impressive game.