Errani, Pavlyuchenkova reach Paris final
Paris, France (SportsNetwork.com) - Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova upended top- seeded fellow Russian Maria Sharapova to secure a berth in the final at the GDF Suez Open in Paris. Sara Errani will be the other combatant in Sunday's title match.
Saturday's first semifinal saw the unseeded Pavlyuchenkova come from behind to bounce last year's French Open runner-up and the former world No. 1 Sharapova, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, in 2 hours, 13 minutes on the indoor surface at Stade Pierre de Coubertin. A sloppy Sharapova piled up seven double faults and was broken five times on Day 6.
"I thought I started the match really well but, as the match continued, I stopped doing the things that really helped me in the beginning," Sharapova said. "I wasn't being aggressive, I wasn't in the court."
Pavlyuchenkova, who is now 1-1 lifetime against the career Grand Slam winner Sharapova, upset fourth-seeded 2012 GDF Suez champ Angelique Kerber here on Friday.
"I knew that I had to serve well because Maria has one of the best returns on the tour, probably," Pavlyuchenkova said. "I remember playing her like three or four years ago, she broke me a lot of times and that was the key for her to win."
Saturday's nightcap saw a third-seeded Errani hold off unseeded French crowd favorite Alize Cornet, 7-6 (7-3), 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), in a marathon 3-hour, 2- minute affair.
Errani will meet Pavlyuchenkova for a second time, with the Russian prevailing in their lone previous meeting, a Fed Cup one in 2011.
The 26-year-old Errani is 7-7 in her career finals, including a runner-up finish at the French Open here in Paris in 2012.
The 22-year-old Pavlyuchenkova will appear in her ninth career final, seeking a sixth title. This will mark her first championship match of the year.
Sunday's winner will claim $132,000.
02/01 15:53:27 ET