The Tennis Queen is back! Maria Sharapova has become the first Russian player to bag all four Grand Slam titles as she topped Sara Errani of Italy in the French Open final.
It was not only their maiden face-to-face clash, but also the first ever Roland Garros decider for both players.
Sharapova and Errani are peers – at 25 years of age, but it’s the Russian, who clearly boasts much greater experience.
And Maria capitalized on that advantage in full, taking four games in a row at the start of the match.
Errani adjusted to the atmosphere of the final only in the fifth game, but still couldn’t save the set, which ended at 6-3 for the Russian.
Despite clay not being her favorite surface, Sharapova continued to play with great concentration, more reliable on the serve than usual and absolutely instrumental on the return.
She broke her Italian opponent in the first game of the second set, and the gap between the two only increased, with Maria coursing to a 6-3, 6-2 victory.
"It's been such a journey for me to get to this stage," Maria said after the match. "There are so many people to thank, but most importantly, it's my wonderful team that keeps me together."
"It took me many years to get to this stage," she added. "Eight years ago, it was my first breakthrough Grand Slam. I made it to the quarterfinals, and eight years from that day, I'm here on this stage. I'm so happy to share this moment."
The French Open title became Sharapova’s fourth Grand Slam success as she has also won the Australian Open (2008), Wimbledon (2004) and US Open (2006).
The Russian became just the sixth female player – after Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Billie Jean King, Margaret Court and Serena Williams – to complete a career Slam in the Open era.
On Monday, when the new WTA Rankings are to be released, Sharapova will be back to the World No.1 spot, which she previously occupied in 2005.
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will battle for the men’s French Open title on Sunday.