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Barrois Into First Final

Kristina Barrois battled into her first final but has a tough task ahead: Maria Sharapova.

Published May 21, 2010 12:00

Barrois Into First Final
Kristina Barrois

STRASBOURG, France - Maria Sharapova is one win away from her second Sony Ericsson WTA Tour title of the year, after pulling out a three set win over Anabel Medina Garrigues at the Internationaux de Strasbourg.

Sharapova, the No.1 seed at the $220,000, International-level tournament, dropped the first set but roared back to take the match in three sets, 46 62 62.

"At 4-2 in the first set I lowered my level and she raised hers," Sharapova said after improving to 3-0 lifetime against Medina Garrigues. "Playing a Spanish player on clay was an excellent test. I still can't judge my level of game on this surface, but although there are some big events coming, I don't feel pressure."

Sharapova is playing this tournament for the first time: "What's weird is usually on the Saturday before Roland Garros I'm in Paris, but here I am in Strasbourg with a final to play at a tournament I've discovered and am really enjoying."

Medina Garrigues is a three-time champion in Strasbourg, and has now reached the semifinals or better in five of her seven career appearances at the French Open tune-up. Sharapova and Medina Garrigues had both completed rain delayed quarterfinal matches earlier in the day, so were both doing double duty.

Check out off-court pics from Strasbourg in the photo gallery!

Awaiting Sharapova in the final will be Kristina Barrois, who won a 26 62 76(6) squeaker against Vania King in the first semi of the day. She didn't save any match points to win but she did have to regroup after letting a few opportunities slip from her hands, most notably serving for the match at 6-5.

"The beginning of the match was hard and she was playing so well, serving and volleying and putting so much pressure on me," Barrois said. "I had to change something - so I changed my clothes. I came back stronger."

Before this week, Barrois' best results on the Tour were two quarterfinals - she surpassed those by reaching the semifinals and now is in her very first final.

"I'm very happy. It was my first semifinal today and my first final tomorrow - so this has been a really special tournament for me. I am just hoping for the best tomorrow! Maria will be the favorite, so I'll just do my best."

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