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 career. Laser-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.