Sharapova storms to career Grand Slam in Paris
Date published :
09 Jun 2012 - 15:47:12
Maria Sharapova swept past Italy's Sara Errani 6-3, 6-2 on Saturday to win a first French Open title and complete a career Grand Slam.
The Russian star, who had already been assured of returning to the world number one spot by reaching her first Roland Garros final, had too much firepower for the pint-sized Italian.
Victory represented Sharapova's fourth Grand Slam title after her breakthrough 2004 Wimbledon win, the US Open in 2006 and the 2008 Australian Open.
Sharapova stormed into a 4-0 lead in the first set as 21st seed Errani, looking to emulate compatriot Francesca Schiavone who won the 2010 title, was paralysed by stagefright on her Grand Slam final debut.
But she clawed her way onto the scoreboard to get to 2-4, before the more composed Russian went to 5-2.
Errani saved two set points in the eighth game, but a big backhand down the line secured the opener for Sharapova at 6-3.
The Italian had knocked out former champions Ana Ivanovic and Svetlana Kuznetsova on her way to the final, but was being over-powered by the Russian who stands an imposing 24cm taller than her.
In the first set, she hit just three winners to Sharapova's 12.
Sharapova was quickly 2-0 up in the second set and another break soon after took her to 4-1.
Errani bravely stopped the rot, mixing up her game to retrieve a break before handing it straight back to the iron-willed Sharapova for 5-2.
Sharapova saw two match points saved by a pair of exquisite Errani drop shots.
But victory was hers when Errani netted a return, ending the 90-minute final.