Sharapova wins French Open final

Maria Sharapova takes three hours to beat Simona Halep 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4 and claim her second title at Roland Garros.

    The final took three hours and two minutes which is the longest women's final in Paris since 1996 [Getty Images]
    The final took three hours and two minutes which is the longest women's final in Paris since 1996 [Getty Images]

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

    This is the toughest grand slam final I have ever played.

    Maria Sharapova, French Open champion

    "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 afterwards.

    "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.

    Halep broke in the first game of the match when Sharapova sent a backhand long despite having an open court at her disposal.

    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.

    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.

    Four consecutive breaks

    However 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, 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.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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