PSR ANYTIME. ANYWHERE. Introducing the Pittsburgh Sports Report eMagazine. Click to read and watch the best sports coverage in the region.
Monday January 26 2015
Leave this field empty.

Sharapova wins French Open

PSR Logo
Maria Sharapova beat surprise finalist Sara Errani of Italy 6-3, 6-2 to win her first French Open title and become the 10th woman with a career Grand Slam.

Whipping big serves with that rebuilt shoulder, putting forehands and backhands right on lines, and even moving well on the red surface she once worried made her look like a "cow on ice," Sharapova finally lifted the trophy at the only Grand Slam tournament she had yet to win.

"It's a wonderful moment in my career," the 25-year-old Sharapova told the crowd in French, before switching to English to add: "I'm really speechless. It's been such a journey for me to get to this stage."

So much came so easily for Sharapova at the start: Wimbledon champion at age 17; No. 1 in the rankings at 18; U.S. Open champion at 19; Australian Open champion at 20. But a shoulder operation in October 2008 made everything tougher. She didn't play singles from August 2008 until the following May, when her ranking fell to 126th.

"It wasn't getting better as soon as everyone thought it would," she said about her shoulder. "That was the frustrating thing, because it was like, 'When is this going to end?'"

It took until her 10th post-surgery Grand Slam tournament for Sharapova to get back to a major final, at Wimbledon last July, but she lost. She also reached the Australian Open final this January, but lost again.

A global celebrity with millions upon millions of dollars in endorsement deals, Sharapova put herself through the grind required to get back to the top of her sport — and to get better than ever on red clay.

She's unbeaten in 16 matches on it this season, including titles at Stuttgart and Rome.

"I could have said, 'I don't need this. I have money; I have fame; I have victories; I have Grand Slams.' But when your love for something is bigger than all those things, you continue to keep getting up in the morning when it's freezing outside, when you know that it can be the most difficult day, when nothing is working, when you feel like the belief sometimes isn't there from the outside world, and you seem so small," said Sharapova, who will return to No. 1 for the first time since June 2008 in Monday's WTA rankings. "But you can achieve great things when you don't listen to all those things."

Share
The only surprising thing about Pitt’s ouster of Steve Pederson as athletic director is the fact that it’s seen as a surprise.
Editor's DeskFeature OnePitt Football
The Steelers 2014 draft was a hit or miss proposition after one year in the books: one big hit, a few solid performances with more potential heading into year two, and several swings and misses.
Feature TwoPure Steel
In an NFL season with no truly dominant teams, there were nonetheless several dominant performances from some very special players. Here's a nod to those players and coaches who stood out above the rest.
Feature ThreePure SteelTop Story
Pitt introduced Pat Narduzzi as their new head football coach last month. The former Michigan State defensive coordinator replaces Paul Chryst, who left for Wisconsin at the conclusion of the Panthers season.
Feature FourPitt Football
PSR VIDEO
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 1 Steelers TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 2Xfinity HS FootballHigh School TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 3College Sports TV Channel
While the Pirates National League Central rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs, made major waves this offseason, Pittsburgh was busy making some under-the-radar additions to their roster.
Custom 1North Shore NotesTop Story
While Pirates general manager Neal Huntington has been known to make major moves during spring training or even in April, the Pirates 2015 line-up appears to relatively set.
Custom 2North Shore NotesTop Story
Being a baseball fan requires a great deal of patience. The 162-game slog of a season is comprised of tens of thousands of individual moments.
Custom 3North Shore Notes
When the Pirates re-signed A.J. Burnett this off-season, many fans and media questioned why they would bring in the 2014 league leader in losses.
Custom 4North Shore Notes