Saturday, June 9, 2012

Women's final at Roland Garros: What's at stake?

Maria Sharapova has already fulfilled one of her goals for 2012 Roland Garros: she is the new world nº1. But something else is at stake for her when she enters Court Philippe Chatrier Saturday, at 3PM (Paris time). She can complete her career slam, and add the French Open to her previous victories at the US Open, Wimbledon and Australian Open.

Saturday will be "a special day" for the Russian, as she said in the post-semifinal press conference. She can become only the 10th woman to complete the career Grand Slam in her debut at a Roland Garros final. But more important than the numbers and prizes is the recognition for her hard work to get to the top after a shoulder surgery in 2008 (by 2009, she was world number 126th). She also made a remarkable improvement on clay, which was until 2012 her worst surface.

The funny thing is that Novak Djokovic may also complete his career Grand Slam in Paris in his first final there, and with the bonus of breaking a 43 years old record set by Rod Laver. Masha and Nole are friends and she has publicly defied him to join her on this battle to set new records. Will both of them succeed?

The other women's finalist Sara Errani has also her own record to set. Friday, along with partner Roberta Vinci, she raised the Doubles title, and is now one step closer to becoming the first player (man or woman) to win both singles and doubles at Roland Garros since France's Mary Pierce in 2000. The Italian is already the first player since Kim Clijsters in 2003 to reach the singles and doubles finals at the French Open.
All is set for an historic women's singles final. We can't wait!

Women's Career Grand Slam Holders

- Maureen Connolly Brinker (US)
- Doris Hart (US)
- Shirley Fry Irvin (US)
- Margaret Court (Aus)
- Billie Jean King (US)
- Chris Evert (US)
- Martina Navratilova (Cze/US)
- Steffi Graf (Ger)
- Serena Williams (US)

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