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Sharapova seeks to defend Roland Garros title

Russia’s Maria Sharapova is looking to revalidate victory at Roland Garros and thus add her third title in Paris, unless the American Serena Williams, winner of the last three majors, does not stand in her way.

They are the two top favorites for the final victory and both have arguments to support that condition. The two seek their triple crown.

Nobody has added more wins on clay in recent years than the player from Siberia, who also arrives at Roland Garros with the recent victory in the Rome tournament, laboriously achieved against the Spanish Carla Suárez, her hypothetical rival in the quarterfinals.

A finalist in the last three years, Sharapova knows, however, how difficult it is to chain victories in the Grand Slam on clay, something that in the women’s draw no one has achieved since the Belgian Justine Henin alternated three between 2005 and 2007.

Since then the winners have succeeded one another, but the Russian has been the main constant in recent years.

Finalist in the last Australian Open, Sharapova would also add her fifth major.

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Despite the fact that the Russian has her favorite tournament in Paris, nothing moves on the current women’s circuit without the approval of Serena Williams, who, although she signed a blur last year at Roland Garros, returns with renewed ambitions.

The main unknown for the American lies in her state of form, since an elbow problem prevented her from playing the last tournament in Rome. A thermometer for the youngest of the Williams, who won at the Foro Italico before lifting the two Suzanne Lenglen cups that appear in her record (2002 and 2013).

The distance between these two triumphs in Paris reveals well that he is not the great favorite of the American, who has collected six titles in Australia, five in London and six in New York.

But Serena is pursuing her third Grand Slam in a row and has enough quality to pull it off. She is number one in the world and, on paper, the main favorite.

To the domain of the Russian and the American, a group of younger tennis players who knock on the door of a first big on clay intend to answer.

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At the head of them, the Romanian Simona Halep, finalist last year but this season, at 23 years old, has raised the tone, although she needs to confirm in the final rounds, those in which the big trophies are distributed.

Her career on the previous clay court does not bode well for the tennis player from Constanza, but the memory of her great tournament last year invites us not to forget her.

On her way to the final, Serbian Ana Ivanovic, who won in Paris in 2008 but hasn’t even made it to the second week since then, runs into the quarterfinals.

Another of the applicants is the Czech Petra Kvitova, 25 years old and number four in the world, who already knows what it is like to win a big one, Wimbledon (2011 and 2014). And the Czech doesn’t live on grass alone, who this year on clay won in Madrid after handing Serena Williams her first defeat of the year in the semifinals.

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Between Kvitova and the second week appears the Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, 21 years old and the pedigree of having reached at least the semifinals of three of the four majors in an exceptional 2014.

She was one of the sensations of last year in Paris and, although this year comes with less momentum than last, no one doubts that she is one of the tennis players who will mark the circuit in the coming seasons. Unless his talent doesn’t hatch ahead of schedule.

Three finals have been played this season by Carla Suárez, whose seasoned and firm tennis can always be a good bet on clay.

Last year’s quarter-finalist, the runner-up from Rome is looking to make the leap that will allow her to rival the best.

Pending will also have to be the Spanish Garbiñe Mugurza, one of the sensations of the last edition after defeating Serena Williams and reaching the quarterfinals, where she fell against Sharapova, whom she had on the ropes. EFE

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