Italian Open: Sharapova wins Battle of Rome

Maria Sharapova has clinched her first Italian Open title in three years after defeating Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro in Rome yesterday.

The Russian was defeated by Carla in the first set 4-6, before bouncing back to dominate the intense second set 7-5. She then calmly won over the Spaniard in the third set to secure her third Italian Open title.

Tenth seed Suarez Navarro fought hard in the first two sets but her energy was drained in the decider. Sharapova took advantage of her opponent’s weaknesses to claim her 35th career title despite the fact that the temperature on the clay court was soaring above 30 degrees Celsius.

“It’s always a special victory,” Sharapova said when being presented the trophy. “It isn’t my first time but when I’m able to hold the trophy again it brings back memories of winning it the first time.”

“I remember coming to Italy as a little girl and this was one of the tournaments I dreamed of playing,” she added. “Now to win it for a third time is very special.”

Sharapova will be aiming to defend her title in the French Open which commences on May 24.

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