Maria Sharapova is into the French Open final for the third straight year. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Maria Sharapova advanced to her third straight French Open final after grinding out a 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 win over Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard in the semifinals Thursday.

The win, however, was no easy task for the seventh-seeded Russian.

Bouchard, who was playing in her second consecutive Grand Slam semifinal, hits a heavy ball – much like Sharapova – and took the first set behind her 13 winners.

But Sharapova battled back in the second set, going up 4-1 before a mini-run by Bouchard leveled the set at 5-5.

Sharapova, stayed tough and took the next two games to win the second set, which took nearly an hour, to even up the match.

In the third set, Sharapova raced out to a 3-1 lead that she would not relinquish. Bouchard, who also lost to Sharapova at Roland Garros last year – a 6-4, 6-2 exit in the second round – fought off four match points before Sharapova’s final forehand winner sealed the match.

Sharapova leads their head-to-head record, 3-0.

She will play No. 4 seed Simona Halep of Romania, who beat Germany’s Andrea Petkovic, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) in the other semifinal.