Saturday, June 07, 2014

SHARAPOVA WINS SECOND FRENCH OPEN TITLE DESPITE SCARE FROM DETERMINED HALEP


sharapova
In what many tennis lovers will describe as a dramatic final, Maria Sharapova managed to beat a determined Simona Halep to win her second French Open title

Sharapova had to use every grain of her experience and fighting capabilities – plus some highly dubious stalling tactics – to complete a 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 victory that stretched to just over three hours on a steaming afternoon.

Twenty- two year old Halep might have been playing in her first Grand Slam final but she pushed the former world number to the limit.

Halep was looking to become only the second Romanian woman to win a grand slam singles title after Virginia Ruzici, who incidentally is her manager, in Paris in 1978.
The Romanian has gone from losing in the first round here 12 months ago and having never won a title to winning seven of them and on Monday she will be ranked third in the world.
Sharapova had been a study in intensity throughout the fortnight in Paris, happy to take on the mantle of favourite after Serena Williams' early exit, and in the end her will to win pulled her through as much as her ability.
Five games in a row put her in control of a high-quality first set that lasted 57 minutes, as her weight of shot just held the balance of power over Halep's speed of foot.
But the Romanian fourth seed was fighting back in the latter stages and did so again in the second set, the pace and angles she created keeping Sharapova off balance.
Halep won a stunning rally at 4-4, deuce, that had the crowd chanting "Simona! Simona!" - not for the last time - but she was broken straight back thanks to a cruel net cord and it came down to a tie-break.
It looked as though the experience of Sharapova, playing in her ninth Grand Slam final, was about to tell when she moved 5-3 ahead, but under constant pressure from Halep she produced four errors in a row.
For the first time since 2001, the French Open women's final would require a final set, and the Court Philippe Chatrier erupted as they played on into a third hour.
There was a time violation for Sharapova early in the decider as her fragile serve became an ever-lengthier process, and she let a lead slip for the second time in the set with a double fault at 4-3.
Halep might have felt it was her moment, but Sharapova has learnt to move on swiftly from such errors.
For the first time since 2001, the French Open women's final would require a final set, and the Court Philippe Chatrier erupted as they played on into a third hour.
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There was a time violation for Sharapova early in the decider as her fragile serve became an ever-lengthier process, and she let a lead slip for the second time in the set with a double fault at 4-3.


Halep might have felt it was her moment, but Sharapova has learnt to move on swiftly from such errors.
Before receiving the trophy, Sharapova said: "This is the toughest grand slam final I've ever played. All respect to Simona, I thought she played an unbelievable match today.
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"I never thought seven, eight years ago I would win more Roland Garros' when I was 27 than any other grand slams. It's a dream come true and it means so much. I'm so emotional right now I can't even talk."


Sharapova becomes the twelfth female player to win five or more Grand Slams since the game became open to both amateurs and professionals in 1968, and is the first Russian of either gender to win the same Major twice.

Thus, She has now won five Grand Slam titles, taking her to joint-11th on the all-time list alongside Martina Hingis.

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