French Open Final: Serena Williams v Maria Sharapova
Last Updated: 08/06/13 3:11pm
Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova will renew one of the greatest rivalries of the modern era on Court Philippe Chatrier on Saturday with the French Open crown at stake.
World No 1 Williams enters the final at Roland Garros unbeaten in 30 matches while her Russian adversary seeks back-to-back French Open titles.
Victory in their respective semi-finals on Thursday means Sharapova and Williams will enter combat once again with the American holding a nine-year winning streak over the world No 2.
Williams has emerged triumphant in the 12 previous meetings between the pair with Sharapova only registering two wins in 15 encounters.
26-year-old Sharapova claimed the first set from Williams in Miami earlier this year before losing the third to love but insists the slate will be wiped clean this weekend.
"You've got to play until the last point and believe in yourself."
"Her success has been incredible," she said. "But going into a French Open final, that doesn't matter. It all starts from zero. You've got to play until the last point and believe in yourself.
"No matter how good she's playing, you also have to give yourself a bit of credit for getting to that point and doing a few things right to be at that stage and giving yourself an opportunity."
It was the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen which was the catalyst to the 'Serena Slam' of 2002 but over a decade has passed and Williams has been unable to regain that Roland Garros crown.
However, while acknowledging there are no guarantees, the 15-time grand slam champion remains eager to end her French Open drought.
"I have never played Maria here actually," the 31-year-old said. "It will be a great match I think for both of us. We both are doing so well and we both really want to win.
"It would be awesome for me to win. I don't think there's anything that can describe how happy I would be but right now it's still a dream. I still have another match to play, hopefully to win. Two people are still fighting for the championship."