Saturday is going to see just one singles match over in Paris, but what a match it should be with Maria Sharapova setting up her finals appearance with a fairly convincing victory against Viktoria Azarenka.

Match: Maria Sharapova vs Serena Williams

Maria Sharapova

Source: Christian Mesiano @ Flickr

Selection: Maria Sharapova (+1.5 sets)

Best Odds: 2.75 @ Unibet

Of course, the scoreline from that match suggests that the victory was not very convincing, but those who have seen it will confirm that the Russian number one was never in any danger of losing against Viktoria Azarenka, who had just one bright moment in the second set before crumbling against Sharapova’s pressure for the second time in that match.

That important victory should do a whole lot of good for Sharapova, who will have nothing to lose in the final match and should therefore be able to come out swinging. Of course, the “nothing to lose” clause might look absurd if you consider the fact that this will be a Grand Slam final, but it is true. Everyone is expecting Serena Williams to win this and to finish her superb run of results, while Sharapova can just go out and give it her best.

And, well, it needs to be said that her best can match Williams for at least one or two sets. If she can produce the same form that we saw from her in the first set of her semi-final clash with Azarenka, Williams might start feeling the weight of expectations and start missing her big shots, which have never been the most consistent around. This match looks set to be one-sided – but the reality might bring a very different result than everyone is expecting right now and shrewd punters should consider backing Sharapova in one form or another.