Maria Sharapova wins French Open to complete career grand slam
Eight years after winning her first grand slam title at Wimbledon, Maria Sharapova completed the full set on Sunday as she won the French Open for the first time with a performance full of power and authority. The world No1's 6-3, 6-2 victory over the unheralded Italian Sara Errani made her the 10th woman to win all four grand slam titles in her career, a crowning achievement.
"It's a magnificent moment in my career," an emotional Sharapova told the crowd as she accepted the trophy from the former champion Monica Seles. "It's been such a long journey to get here today, through all the injuries. No matter how many grand slams you win, to be here and win this one, even if it was the only one, would be just as special as winning all four."
As Errani's final backhand fell into the net, Sharapova dropped to her knees and put her head in her hands. Almost four years ago, surgery on her right shoulder forced her off the Tour for eight months and many questioned whether she would ever be able to get back to her former glories. Defeats in the final at Wimbledon last summer and again at the Australian Open in January added to the doubts, but she finally dispelled them all with a confident and commanding performance.
Four years after her last grand slam title, Sharapova now has the full set of Wimbledon, US Open, Australian Open and French Open crowns and her efforts over the past fortnight have taken her to the top of the world rankings for the first time since 2008. With Serena Williams inconsistent, Kim Clijsters due to retire at the end of the year and the Wimbledon champion, Petra Kvitova, and Melbourne's winner, Victoria Azarenka, still in their early days as champions, there has to be a chance that this win could be followed by more. "This definitely gives me even more motivation," she said. "Eight years ago it was here that I made my breakthrough in a grand slam, reaching the quarter-finals. I'm so happy to be here and to win this tournament."