Thursday, August 28, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Sharapova edges Halep for 2nd French Open title

By
From page B1 | June 08, 2014 |

PARIS — Nothing came easily for Maria Sharapova in the French Open final.

Serves hit by her surgically repaired shoulder often missed the mark, resulting in 12 double-faults. Shots that would be winners against most opponents were retrieved by Simona Halep and sent right back. Leads that usually hold up vanished in a blink. On a muggy afternoon, with the temperature in the high 70s (20s Celsius), points were lung-searing struggles.

Sharapova was up to the task. In an entertaining and undulating championship match — the first women’s final at Roland Garros in 13 years to go three sets — Sharapova showed that she’s as tough as they come, particularly on the red clay that used to flummox her. She edged Halep 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-4 Saturday to win a second French Open title in three years.

“This is the toughest Grand Slam final I’ve ever played,” Sharapova said.

It is her fifth major trophy in all. Remarkably, Sharapova owns twice as many from Paris as the one each she won at Wimbledon in 2004, the U.S. Open in 2006, and the Australian Open in 2008.

“If somebody had told me … at some stage in my career, that I’d have more Roland Garros titles than any other Grand Slam, I’d probably go get drunk,” Sharapova said with a chuckle. “Or tell them to get drunk. One or the other.”

The 3-hour, 2-minute tangle featured too many momentum swings to count, filled with lengthy baseline exchanges, and terrific defense and shotmaking by both women.

Not bad for someone who once famously described herself as feeling like a “cow on ice” when it came to playing on clay, a slow, demanding surface that requires excellent footwork. Now Sharapova knows how to move on clay, and can stretch points when needed. Since the start of 2012, Sharapova is 54-4 with seven titles on clay. She’s also won 20 consecutive clay three-setters, including four in a row this week.

“It says that she’s very fit. It says that she’s very determined,” said Sven Groenefeld, Sharapova’s coach. “And it says that she never gives up.”

Sharapova broke into a huge smile while hoisting the trophy overhead, then shaking it with both hands and scanning a stadium that, improbably, has become hers. This was her third final in a row in Paris: She won the 2012 title to complete a career Grand Slam, then lost last year to Serena Williams, who bowed out in the second round this time.

Sharapova is 20-1 the last three years at Roland Garros — which is nothing compared to Rafael Nadal’s 65-1 career French Open mark heading into Sunday’s final Sunday against Novak Djokovic, but certainly quite impressive.

“You’re not just born being a natural clay-court player. OK, maybe if you’re Nadal. But certainly not me,” Sharapova said. “I didn’t grow up on it; didn’t play on it. I just took it upon myself to make myself better on it.”

Plus, Sharapova had an operation on her right shoulder, the one she uses to swing her racket, in October 2008. That joint troubled the Russian again in 2013, when she played one match from July to December.

She now travels with a physiotherapist, Jerome Bianchi, and told him during the post-match ceremony, “Thank you for keeping me healthy.”

This was the ninth Grand Slam final for the No. 7-seeded Sharapova, and the first for Halep, a 22-year-old Romanian seeded fourth. Supported by a dozen folks in her guest box wearing red T-shirts saying “Allez Simona,” and fans that chanted her first name, Halep acquitted herself well, showing off the scrambling baseline style that carried her to six straight-set wins until Saturday.

“I will not forget this match,” said Halep, who wiped away tears afterward.

Each time it appeared Sharapova was ready to pull away, she was forced to do extra work.

At 4-3 in the second set, Sharapova held two break points, but Halep saved both with gutsy groundstrokes. In the tiebreaker, Sharapova got within two points of victory at 5-3, but Halep took the next four to claim the set.

That’s when Sharapova left for the locker room, taking an 8-minute break during which she changed out of her sweat-soaked outfit — and let Halep stew for a bit. Sharapova went ahead 4-2, but Halep broke back to 4-all.

It turned out that was her last stand, though. Sharapova wouldn’t lose another point, gritting her teeth and shaking her fists after breaking at love for 5-4 with a backhand winner, then holding at love by forcing a backhand error from Halep on match point.

When it ended, Sharapova dropped to her knees, caking her shins with clay, and folded her body forward, burying her face in her hands.

“I had good tactics today. I opened the angles. Also, I was hitting the ball strong,” Halep said.

But Sharapova, Halep continued, “was moving really well.”

Cow on ice?

More like Queen of Clay.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Locke an unparalleled universe in the Delta

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Small-town heroism on display in Napa

By Angela Borchert | From Page: A2

 
 
Review set for Vacaville fitness center suit

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield motorcyclist hurt in Beck Avenue crash

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Chamber event looks at health care law

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B5 | Gallery

Fairfield police log: Aug. 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

 
Winterhawk Winery up for auction

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B5, 1 Comment | Gallery

Suisun City police log: Aug. 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

 
.

US / World

Boy hurt in California quake: ‘I should be dead’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
California Senate passes gun restraining order

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Lawmakers approve groundwater management bill

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 5 Comments

 
California sets ride-sharing insurance standards

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Feds allow logging after huge California wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
California beach town sees flooding from hurricane

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

US to consider spousal abuse in immigration claims

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
UK sex abuse report prompts outrage, reflection

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Dad acquitted in slaying of driver who killed sons

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 5 Comments

 
Q&A: Few laws govern children at shooting range

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Mom pleads for release of captive US journalist

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Israeli premier, Hamas declare victory in Gaza war

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment | Gallery

Q-and-A on Westerners who join the fight in Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Sources: US considering new relief mission in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Shooting by 9-year-old girl stirs debate over guns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 4 Comments

 
.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoons: Aug. 28, 2014

By Kim Durbin | From Page: A11

 
Let’s improve entertainment control units

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 8 Comments

 
Seizing the day with old friends

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

Signs of possible healing in Ferguson

By Jay Ambrose | From Page: A11, 4 Comments

 
Poor constituent service no longer acceptable

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A11

.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

My boss insists that we all eat lunch with her in cafeteria

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes: Aug. 28, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
‘Cops’ crew member killed in Omaha police shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Chris Soules is ABC’s new ‘Bachelor’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
John Lennon’s killer sorry for being ‘an idiot’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Reality star accused of rape, child molestation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Source: BET suspends producer after Blue Ivy joke

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Judge lets ‘X-Men’ director’s accuser drop lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Rapper Young Jeezy pleads not guilty to gun charge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Sports

 
Maria Sharapova comes through in 3 sets at US Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Raiders rookie QB Derek Carr to start vs. Seahawks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Fuld’s homer in 9th lifts A’s over Astros 5-4

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Posey hits game-ending 2-run homer for Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
NFL suspends Browns star WR Gordon for 2014 season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Keenum, Savage to settle Texans’ backup QB duel vs. 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
USC’s Shaw admits to lying about injuries, rescue

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

IndyCar sets April 12 New Orleans date

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
No. 23 UNC suspends 4 players for opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Clippers sign Doc Rivers to 5-year extension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Cal needs more from its running game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Stanford’s Kevin Hogan a ‘stabilizing agent’ at QB

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Chicago’s Little League champs return as heroes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Raiders hope rebuild pays immediate dividends

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
After trio of near misses, 49ers chase Super Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

US economy forecast to grow by 1.5 percent in 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Stocks drift higher; S&P 500 holds on to 2,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Reports: FBI probes JPMorgan hack

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Time Warner Cable says outages largely resolved

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Video games come of age as spectator sport

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Malaysia Airlines set for shakeup after disasters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

IMF chief Lagarde under investigation in France

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
SEC adopts rules on loan-backed securities

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

.

Obituaries

Fernanda Dee Villarosa

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Herman P. Sorensen

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Lyle R.C. Cullum

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9