WTA Tour

Sharapova wins third Rome title

2015-05-17 16:45
Maria Sharapova (AFP)

Rome - Russia's Maria Sharapova has warmed up for the defence of her French Open title by securing her third Italian Open crown with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 win over Spain's Carla Suarez on Sunday.

Suarez, bidding for only the second title of her career but first from the Masters 1000 series, made a stunning start at the Foro Italico where the players faced sweltering conditions.

The Spanish 10th seed broke the world number three midway through the opening set and had Sharapova on the ropes in a tight second before Sharapova found the breakthrough.

Sharapova broke the Spaniard in the eighth game of the second set for a 5-3 lead and after going on to hand her opponent three break points in the next game she recovered to level the match.

The diminutive Suarez struggled with Sharapova's movement and variety of shots, in particular the Russian's two-handed backhand, which she used to devastating effect throughout.

However Sharapova will be looking to improve several aspects of her game -- notably in terms of unforced errors -- if she is to go all the way in Paris in the coming weeks.

American rival Serena Williams, the winner in Rome the past two years, withdrew before the third round earlier this week citing an elbow injury and will be desperate to avenge her first round defeat in Paris last year.

Sharapova, who secured her final spot with victory over Victoria Azarenka, handed Suarez a break point in the opening game of the third set and despite twice saving the game Suarez moved ahead when Sharapova hit an easy return just wide.

That setback only served to spur the Russian, who broke back immediately, sealing the game with a two-handed backhand return that Suarez did not even bother to try and reach.

Sharapova moved 3-1 ahead when Suarez, having first saved break point, conceded the game with a weak return that hit the net -- effectively ending her challenge.

The Russian held her serve for a 4-1 lead and, with Suarez's confidence deserting her, earned a double break point before taking her lead to 5-1, holding serve on her final game to seal the victory.

Read more on:    wta tour  |  italian open  |  maria sharapova  |  tennis

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.