AN ELATED Maria Sharapova said that winning this year’s French Open was more special than when she won Wimbledon as a teenager, after cruising to victory in the final at Roland Garros.
The new world No1 beat Sara Errani 6-3, 6-2 in Paris on Saturday to become the 10th woman to win all four Grand Slams having won Wimbledon in 2004, the US Open in 2006 and the Australian Open in 2008.
“When I won Wimbledon at seventeen, I thought that would be the most cherished moment of my career, but when I fell to my knees today on the court I realised that winning here was extremely special, even more so,” Sharapova said.
The 25-year-old Russian battled back from career threatening shoulder surgery in 2008 to return to the top of the world rankings after reaching the final in Paris. She is the only player, male or female, to have won a grand slam after undergoing shoulder surgery.
Sharapova dropped only one set in the tournament and, after the shock first round exit of Serena Williams, the only player to beat Sharapova on clay this season, the expectation was shifted onto her before she delivered in her usual powerful style. Sharapova is now the firm favourite to succeed at Wimbledon, the year’s next Major.