© Ella Ling

Miami 2012 - Sharapova kiss

Notes from Roland Garros - day twelve


The women’s finalists were decided on day twelve in Paris

Welcome back to No.1, Maria
If Maria Sharapova ever looked like the thought of not only reaching her first-ever French Open final, the only Grand Slam title that still eludes her, coupled with re-ascending to the world No.1 ranking, might be a bit more than she could chew, she had the whole world fooled. The three-time Slam champ was a titan to the shadowy self she produced against Petra Kvitova in last year’s Wimbledon final, crunching through their semi-final 6-3, 6-3, and barely giving the clay, traditionally her weakest surface, a backward glance.

“I have played tennis since I was 4 years old. I committed myself to this sport. I’ve always loved what I did,” she said afterwards. “When it was taken away from me for a while, that’s when I realized how grateful I was and how lucky I was to be playing it.”

Credit too to Kvitova, also not as proficient on clay as other surfaces, for a sterlingly impressive run to the semi-finals. She showed she has all the makings of being very much a non-one-Slam-wonder. Her next is surely just around the corner.

“Next time I have to be in a different half than Maria,” she laughed.

Super Sara
She may have been one of the form players coming into this year’s French Open, but few seriously expected Sara Errani to be on one side of the net for the ladies’ singles final. But that is exactly where she will be on Saturday, after an impressive 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 win over former finalist Sam Stosur. Errani has become something of a pocket rocket on the clay, and after gutsying out the first set, seeing the second whipped away from her, she broke early in the third to advance to her first-ever Grand Slam singles final.

Giving Italy a Roland Garros finalist for the third year in a row, Errani is the lowest-ranked seed in the final in Paris since Mary Pierce in 2005.

Fact of the day
According to coach and commentator Darren Cahill, Sara Errani paid Wilson $30K to get out of her contract at the end of last year. She switches to Babolat and…there you go.

1 v 2
The best doubles team in the world, Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor, will play the second-best, Bob and Mike Bryan, after both pairs won their semi-finals in the blink of a bag of pommes frites.

But disappointment for the Brits
Liam Broady tweeted that he was ‘gutted’ to be leaving Roland Garros without any silverware after and Josh Ward-Hibbert, the best junior doubles pairing in the world this year, were ousted in the quarter-finals.

Kyle Edmund, meanwhile, the last boy standing in the singles, was beaten in two by sixth seed Kimmer Coppejans.

Onto the grass…