She has won a Major on grass and hardcourts; Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open. All that is missing from Maria Sharapova’s career Grand Slam is Roland Garros (French Open). If Rome 2011 is any indication, Masha’s game on clay is coming together at the right time. With her convincing 6-2 6-4 win over Samantha Stosur in final, her third career clay court win and first Premier event clay court win, Masha has to among the favorites going into Paris, particularly with the Williams sisters out of Roland Garros and Kim Clijsters a question mark coming back from injury.
“I surely wasn’t the favorite going into a clay court event like this. To beat players who have had great results on clay means a lot to me. I may not be the best mover or best slider on clay, or the strongest player with the strongest legs, but there’s a lot more than that in tennis.”-Maria Sharapova
There was little doubt where this match was heading (after it finally started…rain delay). Sharapova stormed out to a 4-0 lead, winning 16 of the first 19 points. Samantha pulled her game together a bit after that and battled Masha the rest of the way, but by that time Sharapova was dictating the big points. Speaking of points, Masha will move up to #7 in the rankings on Monday, steadily improving and moving up to where she once made a home.