/ Tennis

Sharapova claims French Open title

Updated: Saturday, 09 Jun 2012 17:33 | Comments

Sharapova wins her fourth Grand Slam title
Sharapova wins her fourth Grand Slam title

Maria Sharapova kept her poise to outwit and outpower diminutive Italian Sara Errani and win her first French Open with a 6-3 6-2 victory.

Errani did trouble Sharapova with some cute volleys, sliced forehands, daring dropshots but still found the Russian to be an insurmountable obstacle.

Sharapova's used her height advantage and wider wingspan to great effect as she chased down everything the Italian could throw at her. She wrapped up victory when Errani ended a rally by dumping a backhand into the net, allowing Sharapova to become the 10th woman to complete a career grand slam. 

On Monday, the Russian will overtake Victoria Azarenka to become world number one for the first time in four years.

It has been a long road back but she has been in superb form this season, winning titles on clay in Stuttgart and Rome to emerge as one of the main contenders on a surface once so alien she described herself as like a cow on ice.

Errani is totally at home on clay and could boast one more title than her opponent from a breakthrough season but there was no disguising the power advantage of Sharapova.

She made the perfect start to the second set, breaking the Errani serve to love in the opening game, and then staved off a break point as the Italian sought to level at 2-2.

Sharapova was certainly not having things all her own way but she was winning the points that mattered, and she moved 4-1 ahead after a lengthy Errani service game.

The Italian was trying everything to knock Sharapova off her stride, including plenty of trips to the net, but, after pulling one break back, she promptly lost her serve again as the Russian powered away a backhand winner.

That left Sharapova serving for the title, but again Errani made her work very hard for it.

The Italian had made many fans with her never-say-die attitude and she saved two match points, one with a pinpoint drop shot, but on the third Sharapova was simply too good, the Russian sinking to her knees in celebration.

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