The 2014 French Open is the second major tournament of the year for tennis fans, and Saturday’s action will consist of the women’s final between No. 4 seed Simona Halep and No. 7 seed Maria Sharapova.
Both Halep and Sharapova have fought hard to make it this far in the tournament, but they are battling from very different positions. While Sharapova has won the French Open twice, this is Halep’s first appearance in the final of a Grand Slam.
Here is the Day 14 schedule, television information, live stream details and a preview of the women’s final.
|Day 14 Schedule and Viewing Information|
|Player 1||Player 2||Court||Predicted Winner|
|Simona Halep||vs.||Maria Sharapova||Court Chatrier||Halep|
|Date||Time (ET)||Round||Watch||Live Stream|
|June 7||9 a.m. to 1 p.m.||Women’s final||NBC||NBC Live Extra|
|Sources: RolandGarros.com and SI.com|
*Live stream via NBC Live Extra.
Breaking Down Simona Halep vs. Maria Sharapova
While all eyes will be focused on the two-time French Open champion in the final, the 2014 tournament at Roland Garros could be the coming-out party for Halep on one of the grandest stages in the sport.
Halep has been one of the most dominant women’s players in the world over the last year and has won seven events since June 2013. In the first three-plus years of her career, though, Halep was unable to secure any victories.
With huge wins over No. 15 seed Sloane Stephens, No. 27 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova and No. 28 seed Andrea Petkovic in the tournament, it has become abundantly clear that Halep has turned the corner in her budding career.
When asked about her performance thus far, Halep told Piers Newbery of BBC Sport about her perception and confidence:
It's incredible to be in the final here in Paris. I think I was a little bit stronger in the end, I tried everything to win this match. I have a lot of confidence in myself now, I played really good here, but the next round with Maria will be really tough. She's a great champion.
Beating Sharapova will be no walk in the park, though.
Sharapova knows what it takes to win on the clay courts of Roland Garros. After struggling mightily early in her career (just one semifinal appearance in her first eight seasons), Sharapova has won twice and lost in the final over the last three years.
As well as Halep has played at this year’s French Open, Sharapova has the edge in the career series between these two players, according to ESPN’s tennis Twitter account:
Sharapova has struggled in the first set of the last two matches, and that will be Halep’s chance to do her damage and shake her opponent’s confidence. Halep must be aware of Sharapova’s issues and push the tempo immediately.
Halep has been playing very well after taking the lead—she has not dropped a set in the tournament thus far—and her accuracy with both her forehand and backhand will have Sharapova on the ropes early.
Despite her two previous championships on the clay of Roland Garros, Sharapova has struggled with her speed at times. Halep must do her best to get the Russian star off the baseline and either coming to the net or retreating away.
If Halep dictates the pace and speed of the game, Sharapova will struggle to keep up with the No. 4 seed, and the Romanian star will win her first Grand Slam title at just 22 years old.
Predicted Score: Halep, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
*Stats via RolandGarros.com.
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