- French Open, Day 12
Sharapova shines on ladies' day
Some people may have had their money on Sara Errani making the doubles final at Roland Garros, but few would have plumped on the Italian doubling up in Paris. With her semi-final win over Sam Stosur, Errani is the first woman since Kim Clijsters in 2003 to reach the final of both the doubles and the singles. She will hope to emulate Mary Pierce - the last woman to win singles and doubles back in 2000.
Maria Sharapova's serve has come under scrutiny, but the Russian sealed her place in the French Open final with a second serve ace to beat Petra Kvitova 6-3 6-3. The Czech certainly doesn't think Sharapova's serve is dodgy.
The French Tennis Federation declared Thursday to be its first Ladies' Day at Roland Garros, painting everything pink in honour of the fairer sex. Court One, hosting the legends doubles match featuring Martina Navratilova and Jana Novotna taking on Nathalie Tauziat and Sandrine Testud, was painted pink for the occasion. Not just a hint of pink, either, hot pink. Which got us thinking. We've had red clay, green clay, and most recently blue clay. Now pink. Perhaps yellow clay is clearly the way forward - it would certainly make things a bit more interesting, like playing football with a green ball or playing golf in the snow.
Sharapova deservedly saw off Kvitova to secure her return to world No. 1, but not without a little bit of good fortune. After Kvitova's backhand appeared to kiss the line, the line judge called the ball out and to underline her cause, Sharapova pointed to the wrong mark. Kvitova, clearly fuming, went on to drop her ensuing service game, and Sharapova served for the match.
The Italian job
Stosur, a beaten finalist at Roland Garros back in 2010, fell at the final hurdle two years ago as Francesca Schiavone won the title in Paris. Once again, it was an Italian who was her undoing as she fell to the No. 21 seed Errani. Interestingly, Errani was the lowest-ranked player to reach the French Open semi-finals since her opponent, the then No. 30 seed Stosur back in 2009.
No comeback queen
When Stosur roared back to win the second set 6-1, it looked like the Australian was on course for the final. But the odds were stacked against her. In 41 grand slam matches where Stosur had dropped the first set, she had only come back to win in six of them. That record didn't get any better as she lost the decider.