Maria Sharapova won her second French Open title after beating Simona Halep of Romania, 6-4, 6-7, 6-4, on Saturday in a hard-fought final.
Halep and Sharapova fought through a string of long rallies. With both struggling to win more than 50 percent of points on their serves, each game was a battle.
The match was the first women's final since 2001 to go to three sets and lasted 3 hours, 2 minutes. It was just two minutes shorter than the longest ever French Open women's final, the 1996 encounter between Steffi Graf and Aranxta Sanchez.
'An emotional victory' for Sharapova
But Saturday's match was lengthened by a 10-minute visit to the dressing room by Sharapova after she had lost the second set. The Russian was also warned by Kader Nouri over the time she was taking between points.
Halep won the first two games of the match but Sharapova won the next five and took the set. The Russian won the first two games of the next set, but Halep fought back. The second set ended with four consecutive service breaks before Halep won the tiebreak, 7-5.
Sharapova disappeared to the dressing room and, when she returned, quickly regained momentum with a break of serve in the first game of the third set. The set that contained four more service breaks, but at 5-4, Sharapova tasted victory and seized it with a love service game.
This marks Sharapova's fifth Grand Slam title. Sharapova, the seventh seed, won her first Roland Garros title in 2012 and was runner-up last year to Serena Williams.
Halep, the fourth seed, was playing in her maiden final at a Grand Slam and was hoping to become the first Romanian champion since Virginia Ruzici in 1978. Ruzici now plays manager to the up-and-coming Halep.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
Date created : 2014-06-07