Former No. 1 Maria Sharapova took a giant step back toward hanging with the big dogs, on her worst surface defeating French Open runner-up Sam Stosur 6-2, 6-4 in the claycourt final of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.
“I’m going to apologize in advance because my Italian is very poor, so I’m going to speak in English,” Sharapova said after winning the championship that was delayed three hours by rain. “Rome is such a special place and I’ve dreamed of holding up this trophy. There are a lot of tournaments coming up, and this is a great start to everything. I can’t wait to be back next year.”
Sharapova beat world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki en route to the final, capturing her third career title on the red dirt. She will next enter Roland Garros, the only Grand Slam title that has eluded her.
“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,” Sharapova said.
Stosur has yet to beat Sharapova in eight career meetings.
“I’m disappointed to lose but as a whole, I thought Maria played quite well and I simply wasn’t at my best today,” Stosur said. “It wasn’t too bad, but it wasn’t the final I wanted.”
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