Maria is through to her second consecutive French Open final after she defeated No.3 seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus. Maria won 6-1 2-6 6-4 in a match time of two hours and 10 minutes.
After a shaky opening service game as Maria dropped her serve, Maria found another gear as she played some of her best tennis of the tournament. Maria won six straight games and at 40-15 in the final game of the set, Maria hit an ace wide to take the set 6-1 in 28 minutes.
Azarenka got the first break of the second set to lead 4-2 and broke again in the final game to take the second set 6-2 in 39 minutes.
After a short rain delay, both players went back on court to play the final set. In the third game, Maria hit a blistering backhand crosscourt winner to get the first break of the set. In the next game, Maria dropped her serve but broke Azarenka in the fifth game with a forehand winner on the line to lead 3-2 and broke again when Azarenka hit a shot long to lead 5-2. Serving for the match, Maria had four match points but was unable to convert any of them as Azarenka broke. Azarenka held her serve in the next game and again Maria had a chance to serve for the match. At 40-0 on her serve, Maria hit an ace down the middle to move into Saturday’s final.
In Saturday’s final, Maria will play No.1 seed Serena Williams of the United States. 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