French Open Final Preview

Maria will be playing her eighth Grand Slam final on Saturday afternoon at the French Open in Paris. This is Maria’s second consecutive appearance in the final on the clay of Roland Garros. Maria’s opponent will be No.1 seed Serena Williams of the United States.

The match will start at 3.00 PM local time (9.00 AM ET & 6.00 AM PT).

Maria has played Williams fifteen times before and trails the series 2-13, here are the matches they have played against each other:
2004 Miami R4: Williams won 6-4 6-3
2004 Wimbledon Final: Maria won 6-1 6-4
2004 WTA Championships Final: Maria won 4-6 6-2 6-4
2005 Australian Open Semi-Final: Williams won 2-6 7-5 8-6
2007 Australian Open Final: Williams won 6-1 6-2
2007 Miami R4: Williams won 6-1 6-1
2008 Charleston Quarter-Final: Williams won 7-5 4-6 6-1
2010 Wimbledon R4: Williams won 7-6 6-4
2011 Stanford Quarter-Final: Williams won 6-1 6-3
2012 Madrid Quarter-Final: Williams won 6-1 6-3
2012 Olympics Final: Williams won 6-0 6-1
2012 WTA Championships Semi-final: Williams won 6-4 6-3
2013 Doha Semi-final: Williams won 6-3 6-2
2013 Miami Final: Williams won 4-6 6-3 6-0
2013 Madrid Final: Williams won 6-1 6-4

Maria talks about being in the final for the second time:
“I had a tremendous year last year here. Obviously 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.It’s certainly a nice feeling, as well. You know, I hope that I can bring my best tennis for the last one.”

On improvements on clay:
“I’m certainly a better mover, but I think what’s helped me is the confidence that I have on the court in terms of getting myself back into position.Also, you know, if I play a match like I did yesterday and come out the next day, I don’t think maybe five, six, seven years ago I would have felt as fresh as I did today. That has one of the biggest improvements, and to be honest, I think one of the key ones in my career.Yeah, overall, I think it’s the little things that you improve and not to say just I want to improve for the French Open or for the clay. I think as a goal I always wanted to improve my movement and improve physically, and that will ultimately help you on surfaces that may be more challenging to you.”