Tag Archive | "Rome"

Sharapova Picks Up French Open Title to Complete Career Slam

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Sharapova Picks Up French Open Title to Complete Career Slam


Eight years after clenching her first major quarterfinal, ironically at Roland Garros, Maria Sharapova can finally call herself French Open champion. Sharapova dispatched Sara Errani, a surprise finalist, 6-3, 6-2 to obtain the career grand slam. Twice a semifinalist in 2007 and 2011, Sharapova now had a golden shot at grabbing the ultimate prize. While this was the third consecutive year that an Italian woman was battling for the title in Paris, for Errani ranked 24th in the world, this was her maiden major final appearance. Experience was certainly key at the start of the match as Sharapova broke on a backhand miscue by Errani to race to a 2-0 advantage. Subsequent to consolidating, Sharapova struck a backhand winner for a double break edge. Aided by two double faults from her opponent, Errani secured her first game and held to narrow the deficit to 2-4. Yet promptly, with a love game, Sharapova extended her lead to 5-2. After Errani fought off double set point to guard serve, Sharapova connected on her third set point with backhand down the line winner. By carrying the opening set 6-3, Sharapova had one hand on the French Open trophy. The second set unfolded similarly to the initial one with Sharapova breaking Errani at love to capture the early break. But, Errani overcame the effect of being a first time finalist at a major and tried to claw her way back. Despite the Italian’s defiance, Sharapova went ahead 2-0. Subsequent to a difficult game, with Sharapova’s backhand sailing long, Errani had a break point. But, Sharapova would not be denied and maintained serve for 3-1.

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Sharapova Survives Li to Retain Rome Title

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Sharapova Survives Li to Retain Rome Title



Despite a persistent drizzle, spectators stayed glued to their seats at the Foro Italico. In the final of the Internazionali BNL D’Italia defending champion Maria Sharapova roared back from a 4-6, 0-4 hole to vanquish Na Li 4-6, 6-4, 7-6.

In the first set, Sharapova got the initial break to go up 2-1. However, Li quickly captured the next game to get back on serve.

With Sharapova serving at 4-5, some critical service miscues allowed Li to bag the first set.
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Djokovic Retains Sony Ericsson Open Title

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Djokovic Retains Sony Ericsson Open Title



Novak Djokovic banked his 30th ATP title in Miami. The world number one downed Andy Murray 6-1, 7-6 to capture his third trophy at the Sony Ericsson Open. Djokovic became the first player to successfully defend at this event since Roger Federer in 2005-2006.

This was a repeat of the 2009 Miami final. On that occasion, Murray hoisted the big prize. The Brit was appearing in his third final of 2012, victorious in Brisbane and beaten by Federer in Dubai.

At this juncture in 2011, Djokovic was 24-0 with the Australian Open and BNP Paribas Open under his belt. Since winning at the Australian Open, Djokovic has had two defeats, each in the semifinal stage, one of them to Murray.

Out of nowhere in the opening set, after leading 40-0, Murray made two consecutive backhand errors and allowed Djokovic to later get to deuce. Down the road, three successive backhand miscues by Murray resulted in Djokovic converting.
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Jankovic Wins Second Consecutive Rome Title


The women’s final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia was played between Serbian Jelena Jankovic, world number 4, and Alize Cornet, an 18 year old French qualifier. Jankovic defended her title by winning 6-2, 6-2.

At the outset of the match, Cornet, who reached her first Tier I final, showed that she had come to play. With Jelena serving, the young French woman had double break point, but she failed to take advantage. After exchanging breaks in the next couple of games, the complexity of the match changed whereby unforced errors began to permeate Cornet’s game giving Jankovic a 5-1 advantage. With some fights still remaining, Cornet broke the Serbian as she served for the first set. But, Jankovic returned the favor in the next game to take the set.

After a running start with a break in the second set, Jankovic briefly relinquished the advantage. Yet, Cornet again gave it right back with a game peppered with errors, 1-4. With a temporary intermission in play with Jelena needing a medical timeout, the distraught French youngster asked to speak to her coach. Disappointed with her poor play and overwhelmed by the magnitude of the moment, Cornet burst into tears during the consultation. After this emotional release, Cornet finally held her serve for the first time in the match. Nonetheless, by that time it was too late. Jankovic was in complete control and went on to win the set.

Despite the final outcome, this was an incredible week for the French teenager who eliminated the number 3 seed, Svetlana Kuznetsova, in the third round after being down a set and a 3-0 in the second. Cornet received a gift from Serena Williams in the quarterfinals, with Serena unable to play due to a back problem. Also, Alize came back from a set down against number 6 seed, Anna Chakvetadze to prevail in the semifinals. With her success this week, Cornet’s ranking catapulted from 34 to 20. Jelena advanced to the finals when Maria Sharapova withdrew from their semifinal match due to a calf strain. In the quarterfinals, Jankovic beat Venus Williams after dominating in the second and third sets. Cornet has had great success on the clay this year with semifinal finishes at Amelia Island and Charleston. As the juniors champion at Roland Garros in 2007, Cornet is well familiar with the red dust. It appears that this year, more than ever, the French spectators will feel that they possibly have a future champion to cheer.

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