/ Tennis

Top seed Maria Sharapova retained her Stuttgart Grand Prix in convincing fashion

Updated: Sunday, 28 Apr 2013 16:57 | Comments

Maria Sharapova celebrates after defeating China's Li Na in the final match of the WTA Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart
Maria Sharapova celebrates after defeating China's Li Na in the final match of the WTA Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart

Top seed Maria Sharapova retained the WTA Porsche Tennis Grand Prix title this afternoon with a straight-sets victory over second seed Li Na in the final in Stuttgart.

The 26-year-old Russian clinched her second tournament win of 2013 and 29th of her career with a 6-4 6-3 success when her Chinese opponent double-faulted on match point.

Sharapova asserted her authority from the outset by breaking the Li serve in the opening game and went on to establish a commanding 4-1 lead in a match-up of the last two French Open winners.

Reigning Roland Garros champion Sharapova then claimed the crucial break of the second set in game seven and closed out a convincing triumph.

Sharapova was delighted with the way she was able to raise her game today, having been taken to three sets in the three previous rounds in Stuttgart.

"She (Li) was the second seed and someone who I had lost to the last time we played, and obviously she was fresher than me going into the final, so I knew it would be the toughest match of the tournament," said the Russian, who lost 6-2 6-2 when the pair last met at the Australian Open.

She added. on wtatennis.com,: "I really tried to do the right things from the beginning to the end and not have a letdown like I did in the other matches - there were some struggles in those, but I kept giving myself chances to go to the next round, and I think I played my best tennis of the week today.

"No matter how difficult those other matches were or how tired I was, I stepped it up today."

Li accepted she had been well beaten.

"You never know what will happen when we play - it's always 50-50 - but today she was the better one," the 31-year-old Chinese said.

"Of course it's sad when you lose in the final, but looking back at the whole week, it was the first claycourt tournament of the year for me, so I'm happy to have reached the final here."

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