Maria Sharapova has positioned herself among the favorites for the 2011 French Open, the only Grand Slam the 24-year-old Russian still hasn’t won, by following up her win over world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki in the Rome semifinals with a 6-2 6-4 defeat of last year’s French Open runner-up Samantha Stosur.
When Sharapova is in a good tennis period, it’s a joy to watch her, her determination and focus combined with her powerful game produce a lot of winners that can’t leave you emotionless. I’m really looking forward to her shaking up the draw at the French Open. Not to mention that her fiancé’s engagement from the stands is really cute, it makes Sharapova’s wins even more moving.
In the first set of the eighth career meeting of Sharapova and Stosur, in which the Australian was trying to defeat the Russian for the first time, Sharapova won the first four games for a 4-0 lead and not long afterwards she took the first set, overpowering Stosur in the number of winners 7-5, but also with much less unforced errors, 5-14. After exchanging breaks early in the second set, Sharapova took Stosur’s serve in the fifth game which proved to be a crucial break, as the rest of the set went with serve.
By winning her 23rd title and her first one this year, Sharapova is projected to climb from No.8 to No.7 in the WTA rankings, while Stosur will fall to No.8 from her current standing of No.7. (photos courtesy of our reader Tony)