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Tennis
Sharapova meets Errani in French Open final
Maria Sharapova regains the world number one ranking but before it becomes official she will play Sara Errani for title.
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2012 17:42
Sharapova enjoys reaching the French Open final and becoming world number one again [AFP]


Maria Sharapova reached her first French Open final and reclaimed the No. 1 ranking by beating fourth-seeded Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-3 on Thursday, moving within one victory of completing a career Grand Slam.

The second-seeded Sharapova lost her two previous Roland Garros semifinals.

She'll face 21st-seeded Sara Errani of Italy with a chance to add to major championships she won at Wimbledon in 2004, the U.S. Open in 2006, and the Australian Open in 2008.

Sharapova would be the 10th woman with a title from each major.

Sharapova lost to Kvitova in last year's Wimbledon final, and to Victoria Azarenka in the Australian Open final in January.

That propelled Azarenka to No. 1, but Sharapova will return to that spot for the first time since 2008 no matter what happens on Saturday.

Speechless

Sara Errani said she had no words to describe her surprise at reaching the final.

The player she beat, Samantha Stosur, was probably every bit as shocked.

Errani, the 21st-seeded Italian, advanced to her first Grand Slam final after overcoming a poor second set for a 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 victory over No. 6 seed Stosur.

The U.S. Open champion hardly looked like the savvy veteran as this match came down the stretch.

Stosur committed 48 unforced errors - 27 more than Errani - in a match that shifted between sunny to windy to cloudy after starting more than an hour late because of rain.

"It's incredible for me"

French Open finalist Sara Errani

After the win - her first in six tries against Stosur -  Errani dropped her racket and fell to her back and onto the damp clay. A few moments later, she stood up and covered her head with her hands as she looked up to her player guest box, where there was a joyous mix of smiles and tears.

"It's incredible for me,'' Errani said.

"I didn't expect it, and I'm here. So, I don't know what to say.''

The victory gives Errani not one, but two dates in the French Open finals.

Errani is also teaming with Roberta Vinci in doubles, and they'll play Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova for that title.

Errani is the first woman since Kim Clijsters in 2003 to make the finals of both singles and doubles at the French Open.

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