WORLD No2 Maria Sharapova declared her delight after defeating Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-3 to reach the French Open final, believing her chances of success in tomorrow’s showpiece to be significantly strengthened by doing so.
Sharapova’s straight-sets victory potentially boosts not only her confidence, but leaves her physically fresh ahead of her final meeting with Italy’s Sara Errani, something the Russian felt to be an important part of her preparation.
“It was tough to play a great match because of the conditions,” said Sharapova who, in victory, guaranteed she will become the new world No1 at Victoria Azarenka’s expense. “I think most importantly it was about playing a solid match. I think patience was very important today.
“I was also facing a tough opponent who’s given me a lot of trouble in the past. So I was really happy that I was able to win in two sets today.”
The French Open remains the only grand slam to elude Sharapova but though she may be favourite to complete her collection, 21st seed Errani insisted she would not be content with merely reaching her first Major final, even if she had not expected to make such progress.
Errani defeated US Open champion Sam Stosur, who had yet to drop a set this year at Roland Garros, 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 and conceded afterwards that she would have to readjust her ambitions.
“It’s incredible for me,” she said. “I didn’t expect it, and I’m here.
“I don’t feel like I’m top 10 but now I will be, so it’s strange. Maybe my problem was I couldn’t believe that I could beat the strong players.
“But now I’ve beaten three in a row. I’m in the final of a grand slam. So I have to maybe try to think a bit different.”