The Washington Post

Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova to play in French Open final

This is Serena Williams in prime time. (Miguel Medina / AFP Getty Images)

Serena Williams advanced to her first French Open final since 2002 with a flawless display of tennis mastery.

Williams dispatched Sara Errani, the fifth-ranked player in the world and a French Open finalist in 2012, 6-0, 6-1 in 46 minutes, advancing to the final against Maria Sharapova.

Williams, whose poorest surface is the red clay of Roland Garros, was masterful , dominating Errani with size, power and efficiency.

“I started out so strong that I thought, ‘Oh, my God, I’d better stay strong,” Williams said in an ESPN interview afterward. “I knew that i had to come out and be aggressive and be ready because she’s doing to hit every ball back.”

Playing in the French final is special for Williams, who battled health problems two years ago. “It would mean everything to me [to win], but to still be playing and to still be healthy after 11 years is even better, I think,” Williams said. “I just feel good. I had nothing to lose this whole tournament and I’m still alive and I really can’t believe it. It’s great.”

She looks unbeatable, even against a player like Sharapova, ranked second in the world. Sharapova, who is 43-9 and the defending champion at Roland Garros, advanced with a 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 victory over Victoria Azarenka.

The matchup will be a tough one for Williams, but her confidence is high.

“I always say that if I play my best, it’s difficult to beat me,” Williams admitted, “and I still think that holds true.”

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.



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Cindy Boren · June 6, 2013