PSR ANYTIME. ANYWHERE. Introducing the Pittsburgh Sports Report eMagazine. Click to read and watch the best sports coverage in the region.
Friday November 28 2014
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."

This is not a great time for the National Football League. America's richest and most successful sports league is being taken to task by everyone from media to protest groups to longtime fans.
Editor's DeskFeature One
When Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon heard senior Cameron Wright had gone down with a non-basketball related foot injury, he didn’t think much of it. “You know, I was actually on the road,” Dixon said.
Feature TwoPitt Basketball
The six western Pennsylvania quarterbacks in the Pro Football Hall of Fame -- Jim Kelly, Dan Marino, Joe Montana, Joe Namath, George Blanda and Johnny Unitas -- will be honored in Pittsburgh next summer.
Feature ThreePure Steel
From 2004 to 2011, the Steelers led the league or finished second in fewest points allowed per game five times. Those squads were marshaled by Steelers greats such as nose tackle Casey Hampton and receiver Hines Ward, who recently made headlines for calling his old team's defense “soft.”
Feature FourPure Steel
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 3Steelers TV Channel
The 2014-15 season is underway and plenty of high-end talent dots the top teams in America. Here is PSR's early peek at some of the best players in the land.
Custom 1National
There were smiles after a Plum football game late last season, for the first time in more than two years. The Mustangs finally came out on the winning end of a game.
Custom 2High School
At Pitt Basketball’s 2014 Midnight Madness event, Joseph Uchebo did not win the dunk contest. He did, however, win over the fans.
Custom 3Pitt Basketball
Can John Calipari load up for another title run with what is perhaps America's most talented roster? Does UConn have enough to repeat? Will the Tar Heels big men lead UNC to the promised land?
Custom 4National