Sharapova completes career Grand Slam
Originally published on: 09/06/12 00:00
It suddenly seems a very long time since Maria Sharapova played “like a cow on ice” on clay.
This year’s Queen of Roland Garros added the finishing touch to a fine spell on the dirt after beating first-time finalist Sara Errani 6-3 6-2 to become the 10th woman to complete the career Grand Slam.
Sharapova, who also won titles in Stuttgart and Rome during the European clay swing, picked up her fourth Grand Slam title eight years after winning her first – as a 17-year-old at Wimbledon.
“It’s the most incredible feeling,” said the 25-year-old Russian after sinking to her knees in victory. “I don’t know what to say. I’ve worked really hard for this. Every day I believed but not many did.”
Continuing to address the French crowd, first in their native tongue and then in English after struggling to find the words, Sharapova added: "I also wanted to say, if this weren't my fourth Grand Slam title, if this were my only one, it would be just as special as it would be to win my fourth."
In the end, Sharapova had too much power for Errani, who admitted she had “started very bad” in the final. Even so, the Italian had much to be proud of after trumping her career-best Grand Slam showing, when she reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open earlier this year.
Errani will move into the top 10 on Monday, even if she doesn’t quite feel worthy of the status.
“I don’t feel like top 10 but I will be top 10,” she laughed during her on court interview with Cedric Pioline, who suggested life would be very different now she has made a major final.
“I hope it doesn’t change,” Errani responded with a smile. “I want the same life.”
The Italian still goes away from Roland Garros a champion after she and Roberta Vinci became the first all-Italian team in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam doubles title with a 4-6 6-4 6-2 victory over Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova on Friday.