French Open: Maria Sharapova emotional after second win at Roland Garros
Last Updated: 08/06/14 3:05pm
Maria Sharapova hailed her ‘most emotional victory’ after battling past Simona Halep to secure her second French Open title.
The Russian ace won 6-4 6-7 (5/7) 6-4 in three hours and two minutes to repeat her victory in 2012 and claim her fifth grand slam title.
Sharapova had done it the hard way all tournament, having fought back from a set down in each of her previous three matches to reach her third successive final, and from feeling like clay was an alien surface, the Russian has now turned it into her most successful stage.
The 27-year-old - who claimed the Wimbledon title in 2004, the US Open in 2006 and Australian Open in 2008 - said: "If somebody had told me that at some stage in my career I'd have more Roland Garros titles than any other grand slam I'd probably go get drunk, or tell them to get drunk.
"It's really amazing. I feel that I worked to get to this position. There is no substitute in these titles. You can't just go out there and do it without putting in the effort.
It's the most emotional victory for me. The toughest one physically that I've come across in a final, especially a grand slam. There are not too many finals that you go past three hours.
"You're not just born being a natural clay-court player. Okay, maybe if you're Nadal. But certainly not me. I didn't grow up on it, didn't play on it. I just took it upon myself to make myself better on it."
She added: "It's the most emotional victory for me. The toughest one physically that I've come across in a final, especially a grand slam. There are not too many finals that you go past three hours.
"To look back seven or eight years and to think that I would be in that position, I would come through against an opponent that makes you play and hit and run and hits so many shots and recover in conditions that start from cold to being warm today.
"So much adversity is thrown at you, and I'm just proud I came through and I adjusted in all different situations and I end up with this (trophy)."
Halep was also emotional at the end of the match and sat down on her chair with a towel over her head.
I was crying at that moment for a few minutes, and then I was smiling because I said that it was my first grand slam final and I have to be happy, to smile, because I did everything on court.
She said: "I was crying at that moment for a few minutes, and then I was smiling because I said that it was my first grand slam final and I have to be happy, to smile, because I did everything on court.
"I played very good tennis. So I'm really proud about these two weeks. It was an amazing feeling on court today."
The 22-year-old, who will climb to number three in the rankings on Monday, had never made it past the quarter-finals at a grand slam before arriving in Paris.
The fourth seed felt the decisive moment came at 4-4 in the deciding set when a Sharapova shot was called out but over-ruled by umpire Kader Nouni. Halep wanted to replay the point but Nouni ruled the call had not affected the Romanian's shot, which flew out of court.
She added: "I thought that we have to replay the point because I touched the ball. But the rule is, no, if I don't put the ball in the court, we cannot replay the point. So I think that ball was very important at that moment.
"After that, I couldn't manage my nerves maybe and I couldn't stay very focused for the next points. That's it. That's life. So I have to look forward, to work harder, and to play many more finals."