PARIS (Sporting Alert) — Maria Sharapova doesn’t have the best track record against Serena Williams, but the Russian will be hoping that won’t affect her when she returns to the French Open final on Saturday.
The defending champion has a 2-13 record against Williams, including a 12 consecutive defeat dating back to 2004, but she is still in a confident mood – wanting to fix that record, starting at Roland Garros.
However, she knows that things won’t be easy against an on form Williams, who is desperate to lift the French Open crown one again, having last done so in 2002.
“Well, I’d be lying if [I said the losing streak] doesn’t bother me, obviously,” Sharapova was quoted as saying.
“I don’t think that it would be a pretty competitive statement if I said I didn’t. I would love to change that around.”
He added: “Obviously whatever I did in the past hasn’t worked, so I’ll have to try to do something different, and hopefully it will.
“Despite all those statistics, despite my unsuccessful record against her, it doesn’t matter because you’re at the French Open final.
“No matter how good she’s playing, you also have to give yourself a bit of credit for getting to that point and doing a few things right to be at that stage and giving yourself an opportunity.
“Whether you take it, that’s another story. Obviously, though, I’ll be determined.”
The 26-year-old knows what awaits her in the final, but she is happy to be back in another title deciding match.
“To come back as the defending champion, it’s extremely special to get back on that stage where it comes down to the last two players of the tournament,” she said.
No. 1 Williams, who easily won her semifinal, 6-0, 6-1, over the fifth-seeded Sara Errani is also happy to be in another French Open final after waiting so long.
“I’m very happy to be back in the French Open final 11 years later,” Williams said.
“I’m still here 11 years later. It’s so wonderful for me.”