French Open S/Final: Azarenka Battles Sharapova


Victoria Azarenka expects another “intense” battle against Maria Sharapova Thursday when the pair open a new chapter in their uneasy relationship with a place in the French Open final at stake.

World number three Azarenka takes on defending champion Sharapova, the second seed, in their first meeting on clay since their infamous shoulder charging in Stuttgart last year.

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Sharapova won that clash but the final was overshadowed when the two statuesque blondes bumped into each other at the changeover, refusing, metaphorically and literally, to give ground.

“Maybe even more intense,” was how Azarenka, the Australian Open champion and playing in her first French Open semi-final, described the potential atmosphere of the semi-final.

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