Maria Sharapova meets surprise finalist Sara Errani for the first time ever in Saturday’s French Open women’s final…
Italy’s love affair with Paris continues. Francesca Schiavone became the country’s first female Grand Slam finalist in 2010, and Sara Errani – having ousted three of the top 13 seeds – has made this the third straight French Open final with an Italian flavour.
The opponent awaiting her in the final, Maria Sharapova, is a class above anyone she has met so far – a field featuring former champions Ana Ivanovic and Svetlana Kuznetsova – though, dropping just one set to Errani’s three en route to the final.
While Errani, who also went the distance in the French Open doubles alongside compatriot Roberta Vinci, gave up 23 games in her quarter-final and semi-final clashes, Sharapova conceded a mere 11.
The Russian is unsurprisingly a firm 1/4 favourite to claim a first Roland Garros title, a feat which would see her become only the second woman in 24 years to complete a career Grand Slam, the last being Serena Williams in 2003.
With no head-to-head history to provide Errani with a psychological edge against her menacing rival and the 7/2 outsider more fatigued, an upset appears unlikely, and it is therefore probable that the match will end rather briskly.
All six of Sharapova’s prior Grand Slam finals (three won, three lost) were decided in straight sets, and the average number of games won by the loser in those was a miniscule 5.67.
Factor in that the women’s French Open final is rarely a classic, the last ten all being sewn up within two sets, and there is a strong case for not only backing Sharapova to triumph 2-0 at 8/13 but in a contest graced with under 20.5 games too at 8/11.
The same tempting price is offered on the favourite prevailing with a 4.5 game disadvantage in the handicap market, and she is 4/1 to take the first set by the 6-3 scoreline that she has been victorious in her last three.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.