Russia′s Sharapova clinches career Grand Slam | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 09.06.2012
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Russia's Sharapova clinches career Grand Slam

Russia's Maria Sharapova has become only the tenth woman in tennis history to win all four Grand Slam titles. The 25-year-old beat Italy's Sara Errani in the women's final of the French Open.

epa03256367 Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates winning her final match against Sara Errani of Italy for the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 09 June 2012. EPA/STEPHANE REIX

Tennis French Open 2012 Maria Sharapova

Sharapova was clearly dominant in a game in which she defeated Errani 6-3, 6-2 to complete her career Grand Slam.

The Russian rapidly notched up a 4-0 lead over her opponent, before an attempted fight back by the Italian.

However, the taller Sharapova's more powerful serves and wider strokes proved too much for 21st-seed Errani.

Siberian-born Sharapova, who won her first Grand Slam at Wimbledon aged 17, now moves up from second seed to claim the number-one ranking.

"It has been such a journey for me to get to this stage. Eight years ago it was my first breakthrough Grand Slam and eight years later, here I am."

Sara Errani of Italy celebrates winning her semi final match against Samantha Stosur of Australia at the French Open

Errani has enjoyed considerable success of late

"No matter how many Grand Slams you win ... if it was my only one it would be just as special as it would be winning my fourth."

Opponent with growing reputation

Errani, who is just 10 days younger than Sharapova, had been relatively unknown until a recent string of clay court wins in the build up to this year's tournament at Paris' Roland Garros.

Since her Grand Slam at Wimbledon in 2004, Sharapova claimed the US Open in 2006 and the Australian Open in 2008.

In the past year, Sharapova - who has spent much of her life in the United States - has won clay court trophies in Stuttgart and Rome, and was runner-up at Wimbledon and the Australian Open.

rc/sej (AFP, dpa, Reuters)