Maria Sharapova seeks her fifth career grand slam title on Saturday at Roland Garros in the 2014 French Open Women's Final against Simona Halep, the latter in her first career grand slam final.
Coverage of the third grand slam final of 2014 begins at 9 a.m. ET on NBC.
Halep at No. 4 is the higher-ranked player and rightfully so. The 22-year-old Romanian was named WTA Most Improved Player in 2013, and has backed it up in 2014 with a 19-7 record. All six wins at Roland Garros have been in straight sets, though she did need a second-set tiebreaker to beat Andrea Petkovic in the semifinal on Thursday.
The road has not been as easy for No. 7 Sharapova, who has needed three sets to win her last three matches. Sharapova dropped the first set in Round 4 against Samantha Stosur, then did the game in the quarterfinal against Garbine Muguruza. After those hard-fought victories, Sharapova defeated Eugenie Bouchard 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 in Thursday's semifinal to reach her third consecutive French Open final.
Sharapova defeated Sara Errani in the 2012 final at Roland Garros to complete a career grand slam, then lost in straight sets to Serena Williams in the 2013 French Open final. This is the ninth career grand slam final for Sharapova, who is 4-4. None of her previous eight grand slam finals have lasted three sets.
If Halep can complete her run, in straight sets or otherwise, she would be just the second Romanian to win the French Open, joining 1978 champion Virginia Ruzici.
Sharapova and Halep have met once previously in 2014, with Sharapova defeating Halop 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 in the final of the Madrid Open in May.
Time: 9 a.m. ET
Online streaming: NBC Sports Live Extra