Tennis News Wire -
Saturday Women's Tennis Summary
Singles - Final: (2) Maria Sharapova def. (21) Sara Errani 6-3 6-2
The rule here seemed to be that Maria Sharapova went up a break early in each set, then coasted. The surprise, in a way, is that she didn't break even more than she did. Sara Errani's second serve was simply a gift to Sharapova, and even the Italian's first serve often suffered severe punishment.
But if there isn't much to say about the match, there is a lot we can say about the result. This completes an amazing change for Maria Sharapova -- once arguably the WTA's best fastcourt player, she has now become its best clay player. Her clay record this year was 18-1.(94.7%); she won Stuttgart, Rome, and Roland Garros, meaning that she now has a twelve match clay winning streak. Her overall record this year is 35-5.(87.5%) -- but all her titles are on clay! Her record is now almost comparable to Victoria Azarenka's 38-4.(90.5%) and Serena Williams (23-3 plus two withdrawals; 88.5% if the withdrawals don't count). After a long, dreadful decline due to shoulder problems, Sharapova is firmly back at #1.
And she has completed the career slam. It would never have seemed possible until the last couple of years. It's Slam #4 -- she has won each title once. Still, it's all four. Plenty of recent players have never managed that. She was probably bound for the Hall of Fame even before this. Now, it seems certain.
Afterward, she said that this was even more special than her Wimbledon title eight years ago.
Sara Errani failed to win her first singles Slam -- and, frankly, she probably won't with that serve. But what a week! She did win the doubles, and she made her first Slam final, and she has put herself in the Top Ten. She is 33-9 this year, with three titles. We'll have to see how she does away from clay -- but she did make the Australian Open quarterfinal, so she isn't necessarily done for the year....