Uzair Rizvi BeyondHeadlines
The Semi Finals of the women’s singles will be played today.
In the first semi-final World no.7 Maria Sharapova (RUS) takes on World no.6 Na Li (CHN).This match is followed by a contest between defending Champion Francesca Schiavone (ITA) and World no.11 local girl Marion Bartoli (FRA).
Sharapova vs Li Na
The Russian star entered into the semis after whipping Andrea Petkovic’s in straight sets 6-0, 6-3.Maria Sharapova has hit back the purple patch after being down and out with the injuries and poor form…On her way to the semi finals she has destroyed her opponents mercilessly.
Na Li, 29 year old is in her best form. Earlier she has never advanced past the 4th round here. She romped into the semis by beating Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 6-2 .This is her best performance on the clay court.
Sharapova needs French Open title to complete her career Grand Slam, Li is attempting to compete in her second consecutive final after featuring in the Australian Open earlier this year.
Sharapova has better head-to-head record leading 5-2 against Li, though the last time they met was on grass court in 2010 in which Li Na won it.
Sharapova is simply a better clay player than Li Na and should be strong enough to stop Li’s good run.
Schiavone vs Bartoli
Schiavone riding 12 straight wins at Roland Garros is on the verge of making it to the second consecutive French Open final appearance. She won a thrilling encounter against Russian teenager Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 1-6,7-5,7-5.Bartoli surprisingly sent packing 2009 Champion Svetlana Kuznetsova making her way to the semis.
This is the first time that these two players are meeting on the clay surface with Schiavone leading the head-to-head stats with 4-1.Seeing her performance on the clay surface, Italian is certainly the most successful among the two, claiming this title last year.
Bartoli has played two finals this year losing both of them, Bartoli has earlier made it to the finals of Wimbledon in 2007 but never made past to the quarters at any Grand Slam.
Both players are very inexperienced at this stage of the Grand Slam yet they are undefeated in the Semi Finals.
This is for the first time the French lady is in the semis at her home soil and the crowd will certainly be behind the local girl. She will be hoping for the consistent run in order to progress in the final stage where as Schiavone is the hot favorite to win this battle and the Italian appears to be poised to take down her second consecutive French Open .