With just a couple of days action remaining in the 2012 French Open we now know who will be competing in the women’s final and have a pulsating set of men’s matches to look forward to.
Following an impressive run which has seen her not put a foot out of place, Maria Sharapova has booked her place in Saturday’s final where she’ll meet the current world no.10, Sara Errani.
Sharapova has powered her way into the final for the loss of just one set and the speed in which she dispatched the 2011 Wimbledon Champion, Petra Kvitova in Thursday’s semi final suggests that she’s now full of confidence and ready to win her first Grand Slam since she won the Australian Open back in 2008.
25-year-old Italian, Sara Errani has had one of the toughest runs to a French Open final we’ve ever seen and when she found herself a set down, having won just one game, against Ana Ivanovic in the third round, the prospect of her reaching the final of this event seemed like a distant dream.
Fast forward a week and Errani has defeated, Ivanovic, Kuznetsova, Kerber and Stosur and will now face Sharapova on Saturday afternoon hoping to notch the first Grand Slam of her career.
Sharapova is certainly the favourite to win the title and having once again risen to the world no.1 ranking she will be brimming with confidence ahead of Saturday’s final.
Sharapova and Errani have never previously met on the tour so this one will be an intriguing final. Errani has played consistently well and will be happy to go toe-to-toe with the Russian, but ultimately I’d expect to see Maria Sharapova finally adding to her Grand Slam haul.
On the men’s side of things, Friday sees two big semi finals as Roger Federer takes on Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal meets compatriot David Ferrer.
The Federer v Djokovic match is a repeat of last year’s French Open semi-final which saw Federer finally bring to an end Novak’s unbeaten run. It was widely regarded as the best match of the year and their next big match in the semi finals inNew Yorkwasn’t far behind it either. This will be a fascinating match which could well go the distance and should be ripe for trading opportunities.
Both Roger and Novak have already been involved in epic encounters this week, particularly in the quarter finals when Federer came back from two sets behind to defeat Juan Martin Del Potro and Djokovic survived four match points before eventually coming back to defeat Frenchman, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
In the second semi-final two Spaniards come up against each other in the shape of Rafa Nadal and David Ferrer. In truth Nadal has not really been tested so far and despite not losing a set in any of his matches, he may feel he still has much to do to prove his worth here inParis. Whilst we’d all expect to see a Nadal victory in this one, Ferrer has been in fine form and hadn’t lost a set himself until succumbing in a tie-break with Andy Murray in the quarter-final. Ferrer has always struggled to take sets from his countryman and that may continue to be the case on Friday. You can guarantee he’ll push Nadal all the way though, and you just never know when it will finally be Ferrer’s turn to win.
So despite two tasty looking semi-finals, it looks like our final on Sunday will be the third time in succession that Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal have contested a Grand Slam decider. If that does happen then we’ll be watching Nadal gunning for a record breaking seventh French Open title and Djokovic looking to become the first man since 1969 to hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time.
Either way, it promises to be an epic weekend in the French Capital…
Semi-final: Roger Federer v Novak Djokovic
Semi-final: Rafa Nadal v David Ferrer
Potential Final: Novak Djokovic v Rafa Nadal
Final: Maria Sharapova v Sara Errani