Sharapova claims fifth grand slam title

18:22, Jun 10 2014
Li Na
Li Na congratulates Kristina Mladenovic after the current Australian Open champion was ousted by the French youngster.
Lleyton Hewitt
Lleyton Hewitt reacts after losing a point during his first round loss to Argentine Carlos Berlocq at the French Open.
Facundo Bagnis
Argentina's Facundo Bagnis celebrates after defeating Frenchman Julien Benneteau in the first round.
Roland Garros
Court crew sweep water off the covers during a delay on day two at Roland Garros.
Roland Garros
The view of court one as Ivo Karlovic of Croatia plays Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray stretches for a backhand during his first round match against Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan.
Kristina Mladenovic
Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic serves during her victory over Li Na.
Stanislas Wawrinka
Stanislas Wawrinka picks out balls to serve during his first round loss at Roland Garros.
Dustin Brown of Germany returns a shot during his men's singles match against Marinko Matosevic of Australia on day three of the French Open.
Dustin Brown of Germany returns a shot during his men's singles match against Marinko Matosevic of Australia on day three of the French Open.
Sara Errani of Italy serves to Madison Keys of the U.S. during their women's singles match at the French Open.
Sara Errani of Italy serves to Madison Keys of the U.S. during their women's singles match at the French Open.
Ernsts Gulbis
Ernsts Gulbis focuses as he serves against Facundo Bagnis.
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova smashes a forehand shot against Tsvetana Pironkova in the third round.
Garbine Muguruza
Spain's Garbine Muguruza celebrates her upset victory over No 1 seed Serena Williams.
Jurgen Melzer
Austria's Jurgen Melzer stretches to hit a forehand against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga celebrates his victory over Jurgen Melzer.
Roland Garros
Dark clouds hover over the Philippe Chatrier Court as Rafael Nadal plays Dominic Thiem.
Petra Kvitova
Fifth seed Petra Kvitova serves during her victory over Marina Erakovic.
Simona Halep
Romanian Simona Halep acknowledges the crowd after her victory over Heather Watson.
Ana Ivanovic
Ana Ivanovic adjusts her ponytail while playing Ukraine's Elina Svitolina.
Tsvetana Pironkova
Tsvetana Pironkova receives advice from a medical staffer during her loss to Maria Sharapova.
Roger Federer
Roger Federer stretches for a backhand during his four-set third-round victory over Russian Dmitry Tursunov.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic questions a line call during his four-setter against Croat Marin Cilic.
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova served up a 'double-bagel' to unseeded Argentine Paula Ormaechea.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga plays an overhead shot in the sunshine.
Roland Garros
Court crew drag out the covers as rain interrupts play during Maria Sharapova's match.
Pauline Parmentier
France's Pauline Parmentier rips a forehand during her tough three-set victory over Mona Barthel.
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova lost the first set 6-1, but responded to finish off Garbine Muguruza in three sets.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard plays a shot during her three sets quarterfinal victory.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic makes a forehand shot on the run against Milos Raonic.
Ernsts Gulbis
Ernsts Gulbis pumps his fist after defeating Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals.
Andrea Petkovic
Andrea Petkovic kisses her racquet after defeating Sara Errani in their French Open quarterfinal match.
Roland Garros
Spectators shelter under umbrellas as rain delayed the start of quarterfinals on Day 11.
Simona Halep
Simona Halep reacts after defeating Svetlana Kuznetsova to reach the semifinals.
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova plays a two-handed backhand on the run against Canada's Eugenie Bouchard.
Eugenie Bouchard
Eugenie Bouchard fell short of the final in a second straight grand slam.
Simona Halep
Simona Halep battled past Andrea Petkovic in two sets to face Maria Sharapova in the women's French Open final.
Andrea Petkovic
Andrea Petkovic missed a chance to capture the second set before losing in a tiebreak.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic overcame losing the third set to finish off Ernsts Gulbis in four sets to reach the French Open final.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic attempts to replace a letter on an advertising board after knocking it off with his racquet.
Ernsts Gulbis
Ernsts Gulbis in action during his men's semifinal against Novak Djokovic.
Rafa Nadal
Rafa Nadal
Rafa Nadal
Rafa Nadal has a shot at his ninth French Open crown against Novak Djokovic.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray was no match for Rafa Nadal in the French Open semifinals.
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova had to battle over three hours to overcome Simona Halep in the French Open final.
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova collapses to the clay after the championship-clinching point.
Simona Halep
Simona Halep reacts after taking the second set from Maria Sharapova in a tie-break.
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova with the Suzanne Lenglen Trophy after her second French Open triumph.
Rafa Nadal
Rafa Nadal has only been beaten once at the French Open in the last 10 years.
Rafa Nadal
Rafa Nadal with the French Open trophy at the Eiffel Tower.
Rafa Nadal
Rafa Nadal drops to his knees after winning his ninth French Open title.
Novak Djokovic
A frustrated Novak Djokovic could not overcome the 'King of Clay'.

Maria Sharapova claimed her second French Open title when she floored Romanian fourth seed Simona Halep 6-4 6-7(5) 6-4 after a marathon encounter in Saturday's (local time) final.

The seventh seed from Russia claimed her fifth grand slam title after Wimbledon 2004, the 2006 US Open, the 2008 Australian Open and her first Roland Garros title two years ago.

Halep, who had not lost a set entering the final, put up a great fight but bowed out after three hours and two minutes - the longest women's final in Paris since 1996.

Sharapova wrapped it up on her first match point when Halep could not return one of her opponent's sizzling forehands.

"This is the toughest grand slam final I have ever played. I respect Simona a lot, I thought she played an unbelievable match today," Sharapova said with smudged mascara under her eyes.

"I can't believe it, seven or eight years ago I would not have thought that I would win more Roland Garros than any other grand slam.

"To think I won it twice... I'm so emotional now I can't talk."

The wily Romanian had forced a decider just as Sharapova seemed to have ended her resistance.

The Russian, however, had won the last 19 three-set matches she had played on clay since losing to Justine Henin in the third round at Roland Garros in 2010 and made it 20 with a characteristically gutsy display.

Halep, hoping to become the second Romanian woman to win a grand slam title after her manager Virginia Ruzici won at Roland Garros in 1978, broke in the first game of the match when Sharapova sent a backhand long despite having an open court at her disposal.

Sharapova unsettled Halep with her crosscourt shots but the Romanian held on for 2-0.

The Russian bombarded Halep with powerful forehands and managed to break back for 2-2 on her fourth chance when Halep's crosscourt backhand went wide.

Sharapova's third double fault gave Halep another break point, which the Russian saved with another forehand winner down the line before holding for 3-2 after four deuces.

The Russian broke for 4-2, went to 5-2 and then lost two games before taking the set on her opponent's serve when Halep fired a crosscourt forehand wide.

Sharapova won the first game of the second set to love and broke in the second with the contest seemingly heading for a swift conclusion.

Halep would not give up, however, and broke back by forcing Sharapova to net a backhand as the crowd roared "Simona, Simona".

They exchanged four breaks in a row as the set went into a tiebreak and the clock ticked past the two-hour mark. Halep went 5-3 down but then scored four points in a row to send the match into a deciding set.

Sharapova saw off two break points in a hotly contested fourth game and went on to break Halep's serve screaming "Davai!" (come on), only to double fault yet again as the Romanian levelled for 4-4.

In a third set where the serve counted for little, Sharapova broke to love to move one service game from the title and fell to her knees in celebration as Halep sent a looping backhand wide.

"It's my first grand slam page, emotionally it's difficult," said Halep, last year's most improved player.

"I hope there will be many more but this one will be special for me all my life. Congrats Maria you're a great champion."

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Reuters