By Lisa-Marie Burrows
Roland Garros, Paris – An emotional and newly crowned world No.1 Maria Sharapova completed her set of Grand Slam trophies after eight years of waiting for her maiden Grand Slam at Roland Garros. The Russian has added the French Open to her collection after her 6-3, 6-2 defeat over Italy’s Sara Errani yesterday.
The final between the new world No.1 Maria Sharapova and world No.24 Sara Errani was a match built up of many ‘firsts.’ Both ladies were appearing in the French Open final for the first time, Sharapova has secured the first position at the top of the rankings from Monday, she was also searching for her first French Open title to add to her collection to achieve her Career Slam and it was also the first meeting between Sharapova and Errani.
Errani needed a good start in the match but was broken early in her first service game. She knew she needed to keep her nerves in check, so that she could rise to the occasion and the fast moving Italian did settle into the match but the aggressive play by Sharapova proved to be too strong.
Maria Sharapova purposefully kept her rallies short during the match against Errani, usually no more than an average of eight shots were played if she could help it. The first set had the potential to be one-sided – and unfortunately despite moments of brilliance from the Italian, it was heavily dominated by Sharapova and the match was there for hers to win or lose. Sharapova put her Australian Open final demons to bed and with her big hitting and heavy shots; Errani could do little counteract the Russian.
After her matchup against Stosur, Errani knew what kind of challenge she was to face in the final against Sharapova and after switching to Babolat’s more heavily weighted racquet, the added depth and power has certainly enhanced her game.
The Russian No.2 seed stands at 6’2” compared to Errani’s 5’4” and the heavy topspin that she likes to use had little affect on the Russian as it bounced up beautifully into her hitting zone and she could effectively counteract the spin.
The Russian powerhouse swept aside Sara Errani 6-3 6-2 in straight sets to triumph at Roland Garros and become only the 10th woman to complete a clean sweep of the Slams.
After her victory Maria Sharapova has added the final Grand Slam trophy that had previously eluded her to her collection. She first played at Roland Garros when she was 15 years old and now 10 years later she is the champion of the tournament.
During the trophy presentation, she delivered a classy acceptance speech and even turned her hand to French. She kissed and hugged the trophy and gleamed from ear to ear with a beaming smile brighter than the lights at the Eiffel Tower.
Sharapova is just the fifth woman to win all four Grand Slams on three different surfaces, joining Serena, Navratilova, Evert and Graf.
For Errani, she should be very pleased with her performance at the French Open. Prior to this year, Errani had only ever secured one match win at the tournament in her entire career against McHale. Regardless of the final result, Errani will be pleased to hear that she will be placed inside the top 10 of the WTA Tour rankings on Monday thanks to her excellent fortnight of tennis in Paris.