Sharapova to struggle past Li into her first ever French Open final

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Following her straight sets demolition of former French Open favourite Victoria Azarenka in the quarter-final, Na Li has to be respected when taking on Maria Sharapova today.

Sharapova is back to her best and is on track to make it 11 straight clay court wins having won the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, and the Russian is now many people’s favourite to win the French Open at 1/1.

But Li has already made one Grand Slam final this year, losing to Kim Clijsters in the Australian Open, and the world number six is ranked a spot ahead of her opponent today in the world rankings.

Li doesn’t favour the clay court surface as much as she does the hard courts, but having beaten Azarenka and Petra Kvitova in her last two matches, she has proved more than capable of handling the red surface and looks a big price at 7/4 to win.

Sharapova is looking to complete the career Grand Slam with the French Open title and is the most in-form player on the WTA Tour and rightly deserves her 2/5 favouritism, but whether her French Open odds should be so short is questionable.

There’s no doubt these two players are in for a battle on Court Phillipe Chatrier this afternoon and you can get 5/4 that there is exactly three sets in the match.

Li comes into the match having one her last two matches with Sharapova but the Russian had previously won all five meetings between the two, including a three set victory at Roland Garros in 2009.

Back to her best, Sharapova is definitely the one to beat of the four remaining players in the French open and the Russian looks a huge price at 13/5 to win the match 2-1.

The world number eight is also worth a punt at 9/2 to win the first set 6-4.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.