Watch the best Women’s final of 2014 in High Definition. Halep and Sharapova French Open Highlights and Roalnd Garros. When that last, desperate Simona Halep retrieve on an afternoon brimful of them fell outside the sideline, Maria Sharapova fell to her knees, a French Open champion for the second time in her life.
She covered her face, and allowed her head to fall to the red clay. Then, after the perfunctory handshake, she returned to that kneeling position, this time wantonly flinging her arms to the sky.
By then, Halep was sitting in her chair, shedding tears she would be no more able to hold back than a tide of penetrating forehands that continued to flood the court even when Sharapova’s game seemed certain to ebb.
Halep put a towel over her head, and she bit her lip. Meanwhile, Sharapova scaled the wall behind the baseline and waded through well-wishers and onlookers, intent on reaching her support team. When she met them, they formed a scrum, danced and shouted in each others’ faces.
Unless your name is Serena Williams, it’s impossible to avoid being cast as the counter-puncher against Sharapova. But despite that, and in spite of her obvious physical limitations, Halep herself managed to fire 20 winners.
The interesting stat is that each woman made a hefty number of unforced errors: 52 by Sharapova, 31 by Halep. Neither wasted much time prudently waiting for her opponent to slip up. Instead of squirt guns, these two were dueling with fire hoses, and the water pressure was set to high. Via tennis.com
“Sharapova had produced her best tennis of the French Open Tennis fortnight in the first set and a half and her emotion in victory soon became apparent. Recurrent shoulder problems cast another dark shadow over her career just last year and she’s now won a second Grand Slam title on a surface she feared she would never master.”
The Russian came through 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 in three hours and two minutes at Roland Garros.
Sharapova had been a study in intensity throughout the fortnight in Paris, happy to take on the mantle of favourite after Serena Williams’ early exit, and in the end her will to win pulled her through as much as her ability.
Sharapova is the first Russian to win the same Grand Slam title twice Via bbc.com
What the Players Said…
Just how badly did Maria Sharapova want the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen? How did Simona Halep feel about all her crowd support? All the best quotes from the finalists…
Maria Sharapova on her feelings after the victory…”It’s such an emotional victory for me in my career. You know, I have been in many Grand Slam finals, and every one feels very different. I feel as I get older I appreciate those situations so much more. And when it’s over, after it being such an emotional match, everything just kind of lets go.
On whether she ever thought this would be the first one she’d win twice…”It’s really amazing. I feel that I worked to get to this position. There’s nothing else. There is no substitute in these titles.
You can’t just go out there and do it without putting in the effort, putting in the work. You’re not just born being a natural clay court player – okay, maybe if you’re Nadal, but certainly not me.
I didn’t grow up on it; didn’t play on it. I just took it upon myself to make myself better on it.
“There’s no one else that was going to do that for me. I had to do the work.”
Simona Halep on shedding a few tears before the trophy ceremony…”Yes. I was crying at that moment for a few minutes, and then I was smiling because I told myself it was my first Grand Slam final, and I have to be happy and smile, because I did everything on court.
I played very good tennis, a very good level. So I’m really proud about these two weeks. They were incredible weeks here and it was an incredible tournament. It was an amazing feeling on court today.”
On what she thinks she could have done better…”My forehand. I have to work more on my forehand, because I made a few important mistakes in important moments. I’m really happy the way I played, because I think I played my best tennis – but my forehand I want to improve more, and when I hit a forehand cross, hit it more and open the court.
“This was the toughest Grand Slam final I’ve ever played,” Sharapova said in her on-court interview afterwards. “All the respect to Simona. I thought she just played an unbelievable match today.
“I can’t believe it. I never thought seven or eight years ago that I’d win more Roland Garroses when I was 27 years old than any other Grand Slam. It’s a dream come true. This tournament means so much to me. And to think I’ve won it two times now – I’m so emotional, I can’t even talk right now!”
Sharapova now has five Grand Slam titles – Wimbledon in 2004, the US Open in 2006, the Australian Open in 2008, the French Open in 2012 and the French Open – again – in 2014. She is the 12th woman in the Open Era to win five or more Grand Slam titles, after Steffi Graf (22), Chris Evert (18), Martina Navratilova (18), Serena Williams (17), Margaret Court (11), Monica Seles (9), Billie Jean King (8), Evonne Goolagong Cawley (7), Venus Williams (7), Justine Henin (7) and Martina Hingis (5).
Sharapova will go from No.8 to No.5 on the WTA Rankings, No.4 to No.1 on the Road To Singapore leaderboard, and No.3 to No.2 on the all-time prize money list (trailing only Serena Williams). via wtatennis.com