at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Paris - Maria Sharapova enjoyed a double celebration on Thursday as she reclaimed the world number one tennis ranking after blowing away Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 6-3 6-3 to reach her maiden French Open final.
The Russian now stands one match away from fulfilling her dream of completing a career grand slam and will be favourite to become the newest member of the Roland Garros champions' club when she takes on Italian outsider Sara Errani on Saturday.
The swirling winds on Philippe Chatrier Court made life difficult for both players initially, with Sharapova facing break points on both of her opening service games but it was Kvitova who blinked first.
The Czech left-hander's forehand started to misfire badly and she surrendered the first set after dropping her serve in the fifth game. Kvitova fought back from 1-3 down in the second set to level at 3-3 but Sharapova kept on pounding winners from the baseline to break for 5-3 before wrapping up the one-sided contest in 77 minutes with an ace. – Reuters