Friday 14 December 2018

Serena Williams powers to her 16th Grand Slam in Paris

Serena Williams celebrates defeating Maria Sharapova
Serena Williams celebrates defeating Maria Sharapova

Eleanor Crooks

Serena Williams cemented her status as far and away the best player in women's tennis by winning a second French Open title 11 years after her first.

Roland Garros has been the American's most troublesome grand slam venue but she has looked the champion in waiting all fortnight and beat Maria Sharapova 6-4 6-4 in a high-level final today.

Sharapova won the title for the first time last year and played extremely well but, as she has been for the last 12 months, Williams was just too good.

The last time Sharapova beat Williams in a final was at Wimbledon in 2004 when she was 17. In the Olympic gold medal match last year, the Russian managed just a single game.

The last time Sharapova beat Williams in a final was at Wimbledon in 2004 when she was 17. In the Olympic gold medal match last year, the Russian managed just a single game.

Sharapova knew she needed a good start to the second set, and two double faults did not bode well, but, like the first, she dug in impressively, saving five break points.

Williams has been a woman on a mission for the past year, though, winning 73 of 76 matches since a shock first-round defeat here by Virginie Razzano.

She knew she would never have a better chance to win a second French Open title, and everything Sharapova threw at her opponent was coming back with interest.

Williams won three games in a row, but the one thing you can guarantee from Sharapova is fight and she survived another long service game to hold for 3-2.

But the defending champion could get nowhere near the Williams serve, and there appeared no nerves at all as she smashed three aces in the final game to win in an hour and 46 minutes.

Sharapova knew she needed a good start to the second set, and two double faults did not bode well, but, like the first, she dug in impressively, saving five break points.

Williams has been a woman on a mission for the past year, though, winning 73 of 76 matches since a shock first-round defeat here by Virginie Razzano.

She knew she would never have a better chance to win a second French Open title, and everything Sharapova threw at her opponent was coming back with interest.

Williams won three games in a row, but the one thing you can guarantee from Sharapova is fight and she survived another long service game to hold for 3-2.

But the defending champion could get nowhere near the Williams serve, and there appeared no nerves at all as she smashed three aces in the final game to win in an hour and 46 minutes.

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