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French Open findings - day 12

Serena Williams at Roland Garros
by Alexandra Willis
Thursday 6 June 2013

Wimbledon.com's thoughts on the pick of the action from day twelve at Roland Garros...

Unstoppable Serena
11 years after her one and only appearance in the last two in Paris, the world No.1 won 40 of her 52 points on winners as she defeated Sara Errani 6-0, 6-1 to reach Saturday's final. The world No.1 took 47 minutes to take down last year's finalist in an obliterative display, and proved that she remains the dominant force in women's tennis. 

"It would be awesome to win the tournament," Serena said. "I don't think I can describe how happy I would be. But right now it's still a dream. I'm feeling really comfortable here this time. What's changed this year? I didn't lose in the first round."

All credit to the plucky Errani, who did not play badly, hitting just three unforced errors. She was simply not allowed to play.

"She played unbelievable - that's it," said Errani. "When she plays like this, it's very difficult for me to play. She's very strong so there's nothing to be done. Playing doubles has not affected me physically. Honestly, I enjoyed playing today. It was a great court, great weather, everything. I tried everything and gave my all. She had a great day. This is sport."

It brings Serena's run of wins in a row to 30. But No.31 is the one that counts. She's never lost a French Open final. 

Sharapova survives
Maria Sharapova's title defence in Paris remains alive as the defending champion survived errors, rain and a fightback from Victoria Azarenka to win 6-1, 2-6, 6-4. Sharapova was the first to admit her level was on the topsy turvy side, as she began by dropping her serve to love, and was broken when serving for the match. With 39 unforced errors, she knows she will need to smarten it up before the final. But winning ugly seems to suit her.

"I had a tremendous year last year, and it's extremely special to get back on that stage where it comes down to the last two players in the tournament," she said. "I'm a better mover on clay than I used to be but what's helped me is the confidence I have on court in terms of getting myself back in to position. I hope I can bring my best tennis to the last match."

Azarenka meanwhile was disappointed not to have made the most of the momentum shift. 

"The break changed the momentum for sure," said Azarenka. "I was trying to make things happen too quickly and started missing the ball. I'm not happy about the match, but I think it was a good fight. Overall I have to give myself credit for going one step further. This French Open is definitely the best for me so far."

Mixed Czech magic
Frantisek Cermak and Lucie Hradecka denied Kristina Mladenovic a Grand Slam title at her home event as the Czech duo combined to narrowly beat Mladenovic and Daniel Nestor 1-6 6-4 10-6 in the mixed doubles final. Had she and Nestor triumphed, Mladenovic would have been the first French female to win a Roland Garros title since Nathalie Tauziat in 2007, but it was not to be. 

"Of course I'm disappointed... But these two weeks were incredible for me this year," Mladenovic said of the loss. "And, you know, I must say that apart from this defeat, it was incredible to play with Daniel. It's a great experience for me. I'll have to continue and improve and learn."

Cermak and Hradecka, who lost the Australian Open mixed doubles final, picked up their first title together. 

Coming up on Friday

1pm Philippe Chatrier - Men's semi-finals

Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal

David Ferrer v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

NB 1pm Suzanne Lenglen  - Women's doubles semi-finals

Ekaterina Makarova & Elena Vesnina v Andrea Hlavackova & Lucie Hradecka
Sara Errani & Roberta Vinci v Nadia Petrova & Katarina Srebotnik 

Follow the French Open live on ITV and at rolandgarros.com

What did we miss? Let us know in the comments below...

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