It was almost the longest women’s French Open final, lasting just two minutes less than the record of 3 hours and 4 minutes from 1996, and it was spectacular from start to finish, in the end crowning Maria Sharapova as the champion against Simona Halep.
The fourth-seeded Halep started the match with a 2-0 lead, but the 2012 champion Sharapova
answered by taking five games in a row. Halep then held at love to stop the Russian’s streak and
in the following game Sharapova handed two break points with her fourth double fault. Still,
Sharapova sneaked away with the first set and her statistical chances of winning the title
increased dramatically, due to her 40-1 win/loss record when winning the first set at the French
Early in the second set, Halep did a great job getting a break back and holding for 3-3 and then scoring a critical break to lead 5-4. After twice being broken serving for the second set, Halep won four points in a row in the tiebreak and took the match to the first three-set women’s final since 2001.
After a gutsy hold to 2-2, the seventh-seeded Sharapova broke for 3-2 and confirmed the lead with an easy hold, 4-2, but a double fault in her next service game helped Halep even the match once again, 4-4. The seasoned champion Sharapova, matching the red clay in her pink and orange Nike dress and Zoom Vapor 9.5 Tour shoes, then broke Halep at love and served out the match for her fifth Grand Slam title. Final result: 6-4 6-7(5) 6-4.
Sharapova has become the first Russian, male or female, to win the same Grand Slam more than once. Also, she has now overtaken Venus Williams on the all-time prize money list at No.2.
The ride to the title was everything but smooth for Sharapova – even to reach the final Sharapova had to come back from a set down in three straight matches and it was the first time that happened to her at a tournament. Plus, the final was a three-setter! (photo: FFT)