Serena Williams Will Dominate Maria Sharapova in French Open Final
Williams, the top seed, made quick work of Sara Errani, winning 6-0, 6-1 in just 46 minutes. She had an impressive 40 winners, while Errani, last year's runner-up, had just two.
Sharapova had to battle rain and an irregular serve to beat third-seeded Victoria Azarenka, 6-1, 2-6, 6-4.
Now, the two rivals will meet once again in the finals. If history is any judge, this match will be fairly easy for Williams.
Williams is a remarkable 13-2 against Sharapova, including 12 wins in a row. She has already beaten Sharapova three times this year.
She has also dominated the Russian on clay. Williams recently won the Madrid Open over Sharapova and is 2-0 this season on the red surface.
That history immediately puts Sharapova behind the eight-ball. But it gets worse.
Williams is playing the best tennis of her career.
She is 73-3 since losing, in shocking fashion, at Roland Garros last year in the opening round. She has won 30 matches straight, and has won at major tournaments such as Wimbledon, the London Olympics and the U.S. Open.
It doesn't matter that Sharapova won at Roland Garros last year and Williams hasn't won at this event since 2002.
It doesn't matter that Sharapova has improved on clay, going 19-1 in 2012 and has just one loss in 2013.
What does matter is that Williams is playing the best tennis of her life. It matters that Sharapova had to overcome 11 double-faults in her semifinal match against Azarenka, barely eking out a victory, while Williams had the most lopsided victory at Roland Garros in a semifinal since 1984, according to USA Today .
Sharapova needs to try something different to try to beat Williams and admitted that it's getting to her:
A big change she can make is with her serve. She had four double-faults in a single game, and while she did have 12 aces, she also was unable to put away Azarenka with her serve. In the third set, at 5-2, Sharapova lost four match points and even double-faulted on the last two points.
In contrast, Williams cruised. She won 28 of 33 points via the serve and didn't lose a point until the 37th minute of the match.
Sharapova's former coach, Michael Joyce, told the USA Today that the Russian's struggles against Williams may be more mental than physical:
How Many Sets Will it Take Williams to Win?
Against other players if things aren't going well deep down she still thinks she can turn it around. That's where it becomes mental against Serena. The problem is that if Serena is playing her best tennis Maria is probably not going to win. That's the truth of the matter. She needs to give herself a better shot, hang in there a bit. Stay close with her. Serena is such a good front-runner.
If she is to win, Sharapova's play will need to be heroic. A monumental collapse from Williams wouldn't hurt as well. As it stands right now, that looks very unlikely. Williams is simply too dominant.
Sharapova's troubles with the serve is going to hurt her. Even if she does have a lead, her inability to put the opponent away is troubling. She got away with it against Azarenka, who historically struggles on clay and was playing in her first semifinal at Roland Garros.
She won't get away with it against Williams. Look for the American legend to dominate Sharapova in the French Open Final, continuing what has been a truly remarkable season.
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