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Fiji Time: 11:58 PM on Wednesday 23 July

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Sharapova, Halep face off in Paris

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Saturday, June 07, 2014

PARIS - Russian superstar Maria Sharapova will take on Romanian upstart Simona Halep in the French Open final on Saturday following wins for both players in Thursday's semi-finals.

Sharapova, the 27-year-old seventh seed and winner in Paris in 2012, again showed her never say die spirit in downing fast-rising Canadian Eugenie Bouchard 4-6 7-5 6-2.

Halep, a 22-year-old from the Black Sea port city of Constanta who has broken into the top bracket of the women's game in the last 18 months, was too strong for Germany's Andrea Petkovic, winning 6-2 7-6 (7-4).

Sharapova, the biggest-earning sportswoman in the world, will be gunning for a fifth grand slam title, having completed her career grand slam sweep in Paris two years ago.

Halep, who once underwent breast reduction surgery to improve her game, will become the first Romanian since her manager Virginia Ruzici 34 years ago to contest a grand slam final.

Halep, a former world junior number one, had never previously gone beyond the second round in Paris but the woman voted the most improved player of 2013 has raced through the tournament without losing a set.


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