PARIS -- Maria Sharapova yet again came back from a first-set deficit to defeat up-and-comer Eugenie Bouchard and reach her third-straight French Open final. In the second semifinal, Simona Halep cleanly knocked out Andrea Petkovic, and will enter her first Grand Slam final without losing a set at Roland Garros.
Maria Sharapova staged yet another three-set comeback to fend off Eugenie Bouchard: Maybe people should start spotting Sharapova the first set (actually, don't do that -- Sharapova's 40-1 at the French Open when she wins the first set). For the third straight match, Sharapova rallied from a set down to win, beating Bouchard, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 to advance to her third straight French Open final.
"You know, at the end of the day, it's not how you finish a first set. It's how you finish the last set," Sharapova said. She should start printing that on the Sugarpova bags.
With the win, Sharapova will move up to No. 6 in the rankings and could move to No. 5 if she wins the title. She's now won 19 consecutive three-set matches on clay.
Simona Halep reaches her first Grand Slam final without losing a set: The highest-seed left in the draw after the first week of upsets overcame her nerves in the second set to beat Andrea Petkovic 6-2, 7-6 (4) and advance to her first Slam final. As a result of the win, she'll climb to No. 3 in the rankings on Monday.
The Romanian played a flawless first set, but nearly fell behind 4-1 in the second before Petkovic's own nerves got in the way. The German had her chances, but poor shot selection and a key double-fault in the pressure-packed moments allowed the set to slip away.
"My first feeling was amazing [on match point]," Halep said. "I didn't know how to feel. I cannot say what I feel now. I'm a little bit blocked. It's amazing to play the final here in Paris. It was very tough match. Emotional, also. I was very nervous."
Halep's win sets the stage for a rematch on Saturday of the Madrid Open final, which Sharapova won in -- shocker -- three sets, 1-6, 6-2, 6-3. "I don't know how I have to play to beat Maria," Halep said, laughing. "[Or] if I can beat Maria, better to say. But I have to take that revenge. I will fight for this one."
Photo of the day
Hello, dark horse. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Celebration of the day
Tweets of the day
So @andy_murray I am not good enough to make your soccer team. And no @picomonaco ?? That hurts more than my UsOpen loss 09!!
— Jurgen Melzer (@jojomelzer) June 5, 2014
Melzer is referring to this soccer team.
Sharapova's flirty Sugarpova ones are sold out at the French Open shop : don't know what that says about the french crowd...:p
— Carole Bouchard (@carole_bouchard) June 5, 2014
Look who I ran into in my practice before leaving :) Stan the man! Good see u @stanwawrinka pic.twitter.com/kiboxgOyVK — victoria azarenka (@vika7) June 5, 2014
My lone wish for women's final is three sets (for first time since 2001). Too long without a classic final at this tournament. #RG14 — Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) June 5, 2014
Good bye @rolandgarros! Thank you all for your support. See you next year #centercourtselfie pic.twitter.com/3k877SjOCB — Eugenie Bouchard (@geniebouchard) June 5, 2014
Halep effortless. Sharapova effortful. Can't wait for this final. — Louisa Thomas (@louisahthomas) June 5, 2014