The first time is a charm but so is the 26th! Maria Sharapova lifted her 26th cup on Sunday winning the Italian Open in Rome.
The weather was having its rainy moods but the winds could not shake off the determination from Sharapova as she seized the day against Li Na, last year’s Wimbledon Champion. The match ended with scores 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5). There were times when it seemed as though Li Na had the game to her side but then again Sharapova has always come out as the fighter. She continued pushing and managed to win the title.
The score of the first set was 4-6 and it looked grim for Sharapova then but she saved a match point in the third set. By this time the rain was not cooperating one bit and the match was halted for two hours. When the players came to resume the match again, so did the rain but the game was completed.
After long rallies and tiresome returns, the game finally came to a finish and the relief could be seen on both the players’ faces. They let out huge smile and even giggled a little when coming to shake hands at the end.
Sharapova was more than delighted to have won the trophy. She said that the game was very close and Li Na certainly did not make it any easier. She was on top of her performance and the game could have gone either way.
By the end of the game, the clay was muddy, the players were poring more of water than sweat and the spectators were trying to cover under whatever they had brought with them, but it was all a wild, satisfying finish.
Li Na did not seem too convinced of the results. She said that starting play, halting and then resuming twice in such weather conditions was more of a “joke” however she did agree that her opponent was stronger than her.
“I still have positive things to take away. She was just stronger and tougher.”
On the men’s side, the finals between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, is now postponed to Monday due to bad weather. Looks like the rain really wants to lay first!