In the first semifinal of the day on the Court Phillippe Chartier at 5:00am PST USA, the 7th seeded Sharapova meets the 6th seeded Na Li of China. Head to head, Sharapova leads Li 5-2. However Li took the duo’s last meeting 7-5, 6-1 last year on grass.
In their only clay court match, almost exactly two years ago in 2009, Sharapova topped Li in the round of sixteen at the French Open 6-4, 0-6, 6-4. Clay is not the favorite surface of either player, but after taking the WTATour title in Rome last month, Sharapova appears to be playing full of confidence.
If Sharapova can control her groundstroke errors and continue to serve consistently, she should move past the steady Li.
In the second semifinal of the day, the 11th seeded Bartoli will unleash her Monica Seles-like two-handed groundstokes to try and counteract the extreme topspin of the defending champion and 5th seeded Francesca Schiavone of Italy.
The top players have never met on clay before, but head to head the Italian leads the Frenchwoman 4-1. Much like the first semifinal, Bartoli will be the aggressor but will need to deliver winners while keeping her error count low. Both players will face pressure as Schiavone took the title last year while Bartoli is only two wins away from taking her home grand slam title.
In 2000 Mary Pierce became the only Frenchwoman to ever win the French Open in the open era.