Connect with us

News

Sharapova reclaims World No.1, completes Career Slam in Paris

Published

on

Maria acted

Maria Sharapova overcame years of injury struggle to come full circle at Roland Garros in 2012, capturing her fourth major title for a box set while reclaiming the top spot on the WTA rankings.

Maria in action

Welcome to French Open Flashbacks, where wtatennis.com will take a look back at some of the most memorable narratives from Roland Garros over the past 20 years. After recapping Charleston’s classics, Stuttgart’s standards, Madrid’s magic moments, and Rome’s records, our retrospective heads to the culmination of the clay season in Paris – up next is Maria Sharapova’s Career Grand Slam fulfillment at the 2012 French Open.

For more classic moments, check out our other French Open Flashbacks:
1999: Graf wins 22nd and final Grand Slam title
2000: Pierce fulfills destiny, rings in millennium with Roland Garros double
2001: Capriati confirms comeback with brave battle in record-setting final
2003: Henin fulfils lofty goals with first of four Roland Garros crowns
2004: Myskina makes history, ushers in Russian dynasty
2011: Li becomes Asia’s first Grand Slam champion in historic triumph
2014: Halep serves notice in run to first final in Paris
2016: Mladenovic, Garcia delight home fans with fairytale triumph in Paris
2017: Ostapenko powers to Roland Garros title out of left field

THE MOMENT: Maria Sharapova was at the forefront of the Russian Revolution occurring in the women’s game. Weeks after Anastasia Myskina surged into the history books by winning the 2004 French Open, Sharapova backed up the hype with a stunning Wimbledon fortnight.

Her star continued to rise in the years that followed; by 2008, she was ranked World No.1 and had added the US and Australian Open titles to her trophy case. Success on clay, however, continued to elude her – something that was no secret to the 6’2″ Sharapova.

“I feel like a cow on ice,” she famously said after a second round win over Jill Craybas in 2007. Though she lost just three games to Craybas that day, Sharapova rarely did look like a contender for the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen, losing that year in the semifinals to Ana Ivanovic (winning only three games).

Where she lacked in technical prowess she made up with force of will; when she returned to tennis after shoulder surgery, she battled into the quarterfinals with an abbreviated serve and just two wins in 10 months.

A year later, she pushed four-time French Open champion Justine Henin to the brink in a match that unlocked the player many would come to call “Claypova.”

By 2012, Sharapova had become the tour’s premier force on the terre battue, arriving in Paris having won titles at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix and Internazionali BNL d’Italia. She flew through her first three matches – dropping a 6-0, 6-0 scoreline on Alexandra Cadantu for her opening salvo – and survived a rainy weekend clash with Klara Koukalova to reach the quarterfinals.

Playing to recapture the No.1 ranking for the first time in four years, she avenged an Australian Open defeat to Petra Kvitova – who had also stopped her in the 2011 Wimbledon final – to find herself on the precipice of a Career Grand Slam.

The Russian showed few nerves in taking on surprise finalist Sara Errani, and secured her fourth major title with a brand of clay court power tennis that would define the decade.

While Myskina won Roland Garros with relentless athleticism, Sharapova’s pure power – long seen as a hindrance on slower surfaces – proved equally efficient in Paris.

But how? How had a surface that once minimized her strengths and exposed her weaker movement become her best? It all comes down to the serve. When persistent shoulder injuries affected the Russian’s once-reliable delivery, her game underwent subtle shifts that turned her from the teenager who took Wimbledon by storm into the adult able to succeed on all surfaces.

“I never really went about my career thinking I had to prove something. I think it’s more about proving to yourself than the outside world, expecting things from what you believe you can achieve,” she said of the Career Grand Slam.

The legend of “Claypova” lived on, and though she lost the title to 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams in 2013, she regained the championship the following year. In what would be her fifth and final major title, she outlasted rival Simona Halep in three grueling sets, roaring through the final eight points of the match.

“You’re not just born being a natural clay‑court player,” she said in 2014. “Okay, maybe if you’re [Rafael] Nadal, but certainly not me. I didn’t grow up on it; I didn’t play on it. I just took it upon myself to make myself better on it. There is no one else that was going to do that for me. I had to do the work.”

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

kayley cuoco
Entertainment2 years ago

Kaley Cuoco Stuns In See-Through Dress Photo After Making Comment That Will Disappoint Her Husband, Karl Cook__see photos

Entertainment2 years ago

Jessica Simpson Lifts Her Skirt Up While Showing Off Look__check

News2 years ago

Becky Lynch And Seth Rollins Welcome Their Baby Girl,Roux

kayley cuoco
Hollywood2 years ago

Kaley Cuoco Stuns In Nightie Highlighting ‘Iconic’ Feature

jessica alba
Entertainment2 years ago

WATCH VIDEO: Jessica Alba Just Shared A Sweaty, Abs-tastic selfie video and looks Sparkingly-superb.

jessica alba and love hewitt
Entertainment2 years ago

Rate:Jessica Alba Vs. Jennifer Love Hewitt: which beauty reigns supreme? Whose photos is more Unique?__check this Out

kayley
Hollywood2 years ago

WATCH : Kaley Cuoco’s New Nightie-Filled Instagram Account Goes Viral – check

Entertainment2 years ago

“Oh my goodness! see how cute she is”…WWE stars react over Becky’s baby….

Jennifer Love Hewitt
Entertainment2 years ago

Jennifer Love Hewitt reveals ample cleavage as she strolled down the street in the Californian sunshine__See Photos

Entertainment2 years ago

Carrie Underwood Kills ‘Em In Bikini For Massive Brag

Entertainment2 years ago

WATCH:Jennifer Love Hewitt Stuns As She Posted Video Of Her Newest Look “My New look and new vibes!”

Entertainment2 years ago

Jennifer Garner Flaunts Fit Figure in Swimsuit During Beach Day___See Photos

Entertainment2 years ago

See what Jennifer Love Hewitt looks like now,she is unrecognizable__you are never going to believe your eyes…

Jennifer Love Hewitt
Entertainment2 years ago

PHOTOS: Jennifer Love Hewitt says, “I love my body.” — Jennifer Love tells all girls to put on a bikini

Kaley Cuoco Wore $46 Worth of Drugstore Makeup for Her Wedding
Hollywood2 years ago

Kaley Cuoco Makes A Big Bang Shirtless With No Shoes




Trending