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Maria Sharapova battles her way to Madrid title

By Abhimanyu Nagpal    + Follow

Reads: 379, Comments: 2

Keywords: Mutua Madrid Open | Maria-Sharapova | Simona-Halep
Maria Sharapova battles her way to Madrid title
While it may not have seemed such a high profile clash on paper, it certainly did not lack in quality of tennis. Sharapova, who came into the match as the heavy favourite, had to work her socks off as she came from a set down to win her first ever title here in Madrid.

Former World No.1 Maria Sharapova may have won four Grand Slams in her career, but the Russian has won just one Premier Mandatory event in the past. What’s more, she has won all the four Grand Slams but she had never won the title here in Madrid, so in a way winning the title perhaps had more weightage in her books.

It didn’t quite go exactly to plan, but in the end the Russian will be glad to have got the job done. The World No.9 won the title with a 1-6,6-2,6-3 score-line, firing 22 winners and landing 69 percent of her first serves. What helped her even further is the fact that she committed just the 30 unforced errors through the one hour 57 minute long match.

The runner-up, Simona Halep made it as difficult as possible by playing some consistent tennis, making just the 24 unforced errors in the entire match.

Click here to re-live this match!

Much like her match against Ana Ivanovic in the quarterfinals, the World No.5 made a blazing start to the match, taking the opening set to one. The crowd in Madrid, most of the Sharapova supporters, was stunned. The Russian offered no resistance at the start of the match, giving away a 4-0 lead to her opponent who accepted with both hands. While she managed to get on the board in the fifth game, it proved to be a consolation with Halep taking the set to one.

Maria turned it around remarkably well in the second set, coming back strongly. It was quite similar to her performance against Na Li in the quarterfinal when she finally started playing in the second set, and that consistency helped her come back into the match. The Russian reduced the number of errors to just 7 while there were 10 from the usually consistent Halep. Her consistency on the serve too helped her comeback into the match, as she served at 64 percent.

Going into the deciding set, all the momentum was with the Russian and she did not let it slide away once she had her tail up. The World No.9 went on to win four out of the first five games to take a 4-1 lead. While she couldn’t close it out right there as Halep showed some fight when she pulled a break of serve back to take it to 4-3, the four-time Grand Slam champion got her focus back and won two games on the trot, taking the final set to three.

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Posted By anilkh92,   Posted about 1861 days and 4 hours ago

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third title in madrid for maria in 4 years.. way to go maria..

Posted By bindra2010,   Posted about 1862 days and 7 hours ago

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Halep was absolutely great in the 1st set and then a doubt sets in that she is beating a top player. Maria took advantage and the match. Halep will have to change her mind set.

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