Thursday June 6, 2013
PARIS (AP) -- Defending champion Maria Sharapova overcame 11 double-faults and earned a return trip to the French Open final Thursday, beating Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 in a match punctuated by shrieks and grunts.
Sharapova's opponent Saturday will be the winner of the semifinal between No. 1 Serena Williams and Sara Errani. Sharapova beat Errani in the final last year to complete a career Grand Slam.
The two most notorious grunters in tennis wailed with nearly every swing, matching pitch and volume. Their shots shots were much less consistent. Sharapova hit 12 aces but was erratic with her second serve, and her groundstrokes were also unpredictable.
She needed five match points to seal the victory. Serving for the match for the second time, she held at love, finishing with an ace.
Copyright 2013 Associated Press