Maria Sharapova captured her biggest clay court title so far on Sunday at the Internazionali BNL d’Italie in Rome against Australian Samantha Stosur 6-2, 6-4. It marked the first trophy in a year for the Russian, and the 23rd of her career.
"I'm so excited to be champion here," said the two time semi-finalist at the Foro Italico. "It means so much to me to add this trophy to my others. Rome is such a special place, I really have dreamed of winning here and holding up this trophy. There are a lot of tournaments coming up, and this is a great start to everything. The former No. 1 will move up a spot to number seven in the WTA World Ranking in time for the start of the French Open.
The women's final was delayed for three hours by rain, but Sharapova wasted no time in running away to the title in little more than an hour and a quarter. Sharapova, who played with her brand new YouTek IG Instinct also defeated World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki on the way to her third clay court title and put herself in conversation of French Open favorites.
HEAD figured on both sides of the net in women's doubles, with China's Peng Shuai and partner Jie Zheng defeating HEAD’s Yaroslava Shvedova and Vania King 6-2, 6-3. Peng and her countrywoman were playing only their fourth event together, with Peng competing in her 10th doubles final. The Rome victory in 72 minutes gave the 25-year-old already her seventh career doubles trophy.
"We haven't been playing together very long but we have got to know each other and our games better this year," said Peng. "We're really happy to win such a big title. We will play the French Open together and then Birmingham and Wimbledon and see what happens after that."