Maria Sharapova and Sara Errani will contest the French Open final on Saturday in what will be a first ever meeting between the two 25-year-olds.
Second-seeded Russian Sharapova won through with a 6-3, 6-3 win over fourth seed Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, while 21st seed Errani of Italy ousted Australian sixth seed Samantha Stosur 7-5, 1-6, 6-3.
The stakes could hardly be higher for Sharapova, who is already assured of regaining the world No 1 spot she last held in 2008 before a shoulder injury nearly wrecked her career.
The 2004 Wimbledon, 2006 US Open and 2008 Australian Open champion, will become just the 10th woman to complete a career Grand Slam if she takes Saturday’s final, her first at Roland Garros.
Errani, who was not rated among the favourites for the title coming into Paris despite winning three claycourt build-up tournaments, will be playing in her first Grand Slam final.
A win would make her just the second Italian woman to win the French Open title after Francesca Schiavone two years ago.
“That’s pretty special. After my shoulder surgery, my ranking was out of the 100 in the world, but I thought if I could be No 1 in the world before that then I could do it again.” said Sharapova
The win over the reigning US Open champion Stosur followed earlier victories over two former champions here – Ana Ivanovic and Svetlana Kuznetsova – and Errani admitted she had not expected to get so far.
“It’s incredible for me. I didn’t expect it, and I’m here (in the final),” said Errani.