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Brilliant Sharapova conquers clay and completes career slam with Roland Garros title

Maria Sharapova outplayed Sara Errani 6-3 6-2 in the final of Roland Garros 2012 and sat on the thrown overlooking the WTA world, with her regained No.1 ranking and her collection of Grand Slam titles.

Only a few of years ago Maria Sharapova considered herself a "cow on ice" when stepping on clay, but this year the dirt and the Russian became best buddies and the 25-year-old won the most prestigious claycourt title to become only the sixth woman in the Open Era to win all four majors in her careerLaser-sharp winners from all positions and angles brought the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen in Sharapova's hands, as well as wide smiles to tennis fans around the world as it's a real joy to see Sharapova's best game shining after the scary shoulder injury.

Errani had no answer to Sharapova's numerous winners threatening from everywhere. The Italian did catch Sharapova unprepared with several drop shots, including one that saved the second match point, but they were few and far between compared to Sharapova's precise and intimidatingly fast groundstrokes. On her third match point Sharapova added the Roland Garros title to her awe-inspiring trophy collection featuring: Wimbledon 2004 (Masha was just 17 then!), US Open 2006 and Australian Open 2008.

Sharapova's trickiest match at the tournament was in the fourth round against Klara Zakopalova, while all the others she won without losing more than three games per set! Here's her road to the title: Alexandra Cadantu 6-0 6-0, Ayumi Morita 6-1 6-1, Peng Shuai 6-2 6-1, Klara Zakopalova 6-4 6-7(5) 6-2, Kaia Kanepi 6-2 6-3, Petra Kvitova 6-3 6-3 (the victory brought Sharapova back to No.1) and finally the first meeting with Sara Errani 6-3 6-2.

Even though Errani cried after the loss, I’m sure that when the bitter taste of defeat fades away the Italian will enjoy the fruits of all that she has achieved in Paris this fortnight:

  • Her first Grand Slam final in singles that came after victories over three Grand Slam champions, two of which triumphed at Roland Garros and one of which was a Roland Garros finalist – Ana Ivanovic, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Sam Stosur;
  • Doubles title! Don’t forget that! Errani lifted the Coupe Simone Mathieu with Roberta Vinci with a 4-6 6-4 6-2 victory over Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova;
  • Remained unbeaten on clay this season in doubles! Winning streak of 23 matches, including titles in Acapulco, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome and now Roland Garros. Actually, her doubles winning streak on clay is 27-0, as it began in 2011.

Interesting fact: Sharapova has played seven Grand Slam finals, she won four and lost three, but all of them ended in straight sets. (photos: Ralf Reinecke© Neal Trousdale)

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7 thoughts on “Brilliant Sharapova conquers clay and completes career slam with Roland Garros title

  1. Angelina

    I just got back from work…i couldn't see the the match.I'm in tears of happiness!!! After 4 years…after 4 f…… years!!!!!!!! I knew it, that one day she'll rise another grand slam trophy.Sorry for my English. Its so overwhelming!!Congrats to all real Masha fans!!! Our babygirl has done it!!!! The queen is BACK!! Maria 4-ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Marija Post author

    Angelina, I share your excitement. Sharapova is a joy to watch when she's at her best and right now she is. Those precise and fast shots can't leave you unexcited. I also admire her strong personality, the strong young woman that she is and it's a real pleasure to see her back on top again, especially after that awful injury that ruined her serve.

  3. James

    A truly well deserved victory for Sharapova following her trials and tribulations with the shoulder injury. It is great to see her back her at world number one because she is a great advertisement for womens tennis and loved her speech, which was classy as ever.

    I thought Errani played an excellent match considering the situation. She started poorly, but she gave it all and tried many different shots in the second set, but Sharapova was just too good today and gave her few chances to get a foothold in the match.

  4. Mirjana

    I remember few years ago, right after her come-back from injury, Maria said "I'll be number 1 again". It seemed impossible for 3 seasons, but now that day has come. I doubt there'll ever be a player like Maria again. A person to admire, for sure.

  5. Marija Post author

    Mirjana, Maria is currently the most inspiring player in women's tennis and today when she won I figured I will cry when she retires! :)

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