Saturday - Sep 23, 2017

Maria Sharapova wins her second French Open title

Maria Sharapova wins her second French Open title

In a hard fought women’s final, Russia’s Maria Sharapova showed her usual indomitable fighting spirit to overcome Simona Halep of Romania 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 to take home her second French Open title, with the women’s final being marked as the first to require a third and final set to decide victory.

In a match that took just over three hours at Roland Garros, Ms Sharapova was made to work hard for every game, against the world number four, in the fourth consecutive match in the tournament that Maria needed to reach the final set to win.

Followers of the game were quick to point out Maria really peaked in the final on the clay courts of Roland Garros, especially in the last set of when Simona Halep, playing in her first Grand Slam final, sensing victory, was really putting Sharapova to the test.

By her confident performance it was difficult to comprehend that Simona Helep, only 22 years old, is the first Romanian player to reach a grand slam final since Virginia Ruzici, lost to Chris Evert, ironically in the women’s final at Roland Garros in 1980 . Ms. Ruzici was very much back in the center of things in her role as Simona’s coach, and she was there to console her in defeat as the crowd gave her a highly deserved standing ovation.

Her victory a sure sign that the recurring shoulder problems from which she has been suffering over the last twelve months now appear to be behind her, as she became the first Russian female tennis player to twice come through to win the twin Grand Slam titles.

Maria’s victory in Paris makes for her fifth Grand Slam title, taking her up to joint 11th on the post Open era list beside Martina Hingis as she nimbly stepped into the large gap left by the early departure of Serena Williams. With Serena off the field Maria Sharapova rapidly became favored to win the tournament, although she is renowned for her discomfort in playing on the clay surface of Roland Garros. In the end her workmanlike performance combined with her incorrigible will to win was more than enough to see her through.

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