Sharapova retains Rome title after delay

Sun, 20 May 21:06:00 2012

Maria Sharapova saved match point to beat Li Na Li Na 4-6 6-4 7-6(5) in the WTA Rome final after a two-hour rain break effectively turned the match into a tie-break shootout.

Maria Sharapova - 0

Heavy rain sent the players running for cover at 6-6 in the decider, shortly after the Russian had fended off a match point with a winning forehand.

When they finally returned on a damp night in the Italian capital, Sharapova won the first three points of the tiebreak. Although China's Li battled back to 4-4 and 5-5, the second seed grabbed the last two points for victory.

"This is a great win for me going into Roland Garros," Sharapova said.

"I know the level she played there last year and the level she can play on clay, the way she defends and moves around and gets herself back into position, she's just a great player on any surface really. So this gives me a lot of confidence.

"It will be nice to have a week off now, after playing three tournaments in the last four weeks. I'll have to time to recover, mentally and physically."

The rain break merely added to the drama of a match which swung first one way and the other, with Sharapova saving a match point at 5-6 to force the deciding tiebreak.

With defending champion and world number two Sharapova making far too many unforced errors, eighth seed Li had led by a set and 4-0 before losing her way.

WTA Rome : Final

In steady drizzle, Russian Sharapova then won eight straight games on her way to leading 4-1 in the final set before letting Li back in.

After a short break at 5-5, 30-30, a determined Li saved a break point to stay ahead.

With both players hitting top form, the Chinese then forced a match point on the Sharapova serve but the Russian saved it with a forehand winner.

As heavy rain began to fall, Sharapova held for 6-6 and with the lines becoming slippery, the umpire took the players off court at 4.40pm local time.

Li is still without a title since winning her first grand slam title at Roland Garros almost a year ago.

Reuters

Comment 96 - 116 of 116

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  1. Wouldn't mind shagging Maria.

    From Andrew, on Sat 26 May 8:57
  2. Oh come on marie,do you mean to say you get pleasure­ when watching Sharapova drowning out her opponent.After­ all, that is the basic reason she behaves so badly,­ i.e. to distract her concentration and put her off her­ game. She is virtually unwatchable at times.

    From PATRICIA, on Wed 23 May 20:25
  3. Hi Patricia, critisizing Maria so harshly and having­ played tennis all your life, how far did you get in­ your career??? Did you even come close to the top 100?­ Just wondering... Don`t judge the champions, learn from­ them ;)

    From , on Mon 21 May 19:30
  4. Sharapova. Should be banned until she can play tennis­ without high pitched screaming. Painful to watch. I­ played and taught tennis all my life without that­ idiotic charade.

    From PATRICIA, on Mon 21 May 16:46
  5. Numbscull, Maria is closing in on the belarussian­ masculina, what are 600 points..

    From , on Mon 21 May 16:26
  6. Noor Farida, peter is a jungle boy a monkey with a­ computer. ignore him he is a waste of space. he wants­ to be a european white person because he is ashamed of­ weho he is people like that are non-entities.

    From Bad_Girl, on Mon 21 May 15:59
  7. peter i do not giva a shyte how caste is spelt as long­ as you understand that you are the lowest of the low.­ you are a monkey with a keyboard thats why you live in­ the jungle of indonesia. you are of no consiquence in­ this world you are just a nonentity. you want to be­ white because just like sharapova you are ashamed of­ who you are.

    From Bad_Girl, on Mon 21 May 15:56
  8. peter, ibu anda adalah orang utan

    From Bad_Girl, on Mon 21 May 15:52
  9. I can't understand why people have to be so rude,­ ill mannered and nasty. You have never met these­ people, so why be so rude? Not only are you showing­ yourself up, its embracing to read some of the nasty­ comments, some racist others cruel, mean and others­ personal. Why not just respect peoples opinion,­ disagree with them, debate and it ends there. Such­ behaviour is for kids in primary school, is that the­ kind of person you are or because its the internet you­ feel some kind of strength shameful.

    From janice m, on Mon 21 May 14:57
  10. @ 95 Con, fake Con or whoever you are, they let you­ out of­ that secure facility then? From Doh, on Mon 21­ May 7:47 Yeah mate. My SHIFT was over. I'll­ be back to monitor things in the morning, make sure all­ you INMATES are behaving yourselves :)

    From Con, on Mon 21 May 13:55
  11. Peter or Tong Jin or whatever your name is. You are the­ one who is Bonggok! I am being objective here about­ Serena. How many players can come back after almost a­ year away and having just recovered from a­ life-threatening medical condition and win back to back­ tournaments ( Stanford and Toronto ) where all the top­ 10 were playing ? You are so blinded by your­ irrational dislike of her based solely on her physical­ appearance that you are in denial of the plain facts.­ Your comments here are not worth responding too. They­ show you up for the pathetic, mean,shallow and childish­ person that you are. To judge a person solely on the­ basis of their looks also shows that you are a person­ with screwed up values. It is natural for anyone to­ support his or her favorite player but that does not­ mean one has to condemn or belittle other players and­ especially on the basis of their looks rather than­ their sporting ability. Learn to be a kinder, more­ compassionate human being. There is more to life than­ looks or money!

    From Noor Farida, on Mon 21 May 13:08
  12. Dean Anda anak sundal. Mata sepek. Jelek tidak­ tau jelek cantek tidak tau canrtek. Pergi lah hisap­ tetek mak lagi.

    From Peter, on Mon 21 May 12:54
  13. Since you've been idolizing Serena for so long I do­ not doubt your expertise on monkeys. However the word­ CASTE is spelt with anbd "E". On top of an­ atlas and geography book go get a dictionary too.

    From Peter, on Mon 21 May 12:47
  14. Dean Muka Serena macam monyek. Pahak macam pohon. ­ Tetek macam lembu. danlobang hidung macam gua. Yang­ baik Serena balek hutan. Dia orang hutan.

    From Peter, on Mon 21 May 12:44
  15. Yes Kid, I agree that was one the best come back I had­ seen. The Sharapova match had me going in search of­ all the fantastic matches, do you remember Kim vs­ Capriati French Open Final 2001 and Hingis vs Capriati­ Australian Open Final 2002 and my favourite Serena vs­ Hingis 1999 US Open Final for her first grand slam,­ they have been some great matches in the past, but i­ can't remember when we had a great fighting match­ from any of girls new, there is nothing really special,­ no one that can really pull something out of nothing. ­ Do you remember the nick names we had, Swiss Miss for­ Hingis, Capriati was the come back kid, Williams'­ Sharapova the Ice Queen. Matches between these great­ were always fantastic,Also remember Dementieva having­ her fair share of great matches, i really miss such­ competition and the Li Na match did WTA a favour the­ drama, the rise the fall, the come back. It was great­ entertainment I remember the Cibukova match as well­ the was an epic fail. That is what is missing from the­ game that i only see Serena has the variety, spins,­ flat shots, serving mixes, coming in. I like Kvitova­ because she is comfortable but lacks consistency to­ really take the game by the horns, so well done to­ Azarenka for taking her moment and making it count, do­ i think she will last as number 1, i don't see it­ lasting too long. i see either Sharapova or Serena­ getting back to number and i see Serena winning a few­ more slams. As you can see I love tennis so much. Who­ would be your perfect lplayer makeup of the active­ players today. Let see for me Serena's Power­ and big first serve Stosurs second serve ­ Sharapova's b.h Serena's f.h Schiavoni's­ slice b.h ( i know i spelt her name wrong, i apologise)­ Radwanska's drop shot and her famous lob returns ­ Clijsters mixed with Serena's speed and movement ­ Serena and Petrova net play Sharapova and Serena's­ never say die attitude Ivanovic's height. ­ Anyone else, i would l

    From janice m, on Mon 21 May 12:12
  16. Sharapova tidak akan memenangi slam satu lagi tahun ini­ kerana Serena untuk memenangi semua. Serena akan­ mendapatkan slam emas Serena. Sharapova kelihatan­ seperti ladyboy

    From Bad_Girl, on Mon 21 May 11:50
  17. Sharapova tidak akan menang slam lain tahun ini karena­ Serena adalah keluar untuk memenangkan semuanya. Serena­ akan mendapatkan emas serena slam. Sharapova terlihat­ seperti waria yang

    From Bad_Girl, on Mon 21 May 11:47
  18. Peter, oh yeah hmmm like i said you are of the lowest­ cast. a little monkey with a computer. you want to join­ a race that does not want you. you have such low estime­ of yourself and where you come from. I guess you have­ something in comon with you idol sharapova, she also­ abandoned her home land and this is why she is the­ least liked of all the russian tennis players. in fact­ Myskina refered to her a a fake russian. and that is­ what she is a fake and so are you.

    From Bad_Girl, on Mon 21 May 11:40
  19. Noor Farida, Yeah, yeah, yeah no one can beat­ Serena when she's on the top of her game. No one­ can beat Serena when she's healthy and uninjured. ­ No one can beat Serena if her boyfriend didn't jilt­ her. The ones who lost to her also have the same­ excuses when they lose...............so where are we? ­ BONGOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jangan lah pura-pura. Kami­ bukan bodoh macam kamu.

    From Peter, on Mon 21 May 11:37
  20. Dean, There you go showing off your ignorance of­ Asia. There is no caste system in Indonesia. I think­ you're thinking about India. India is a­ sub-continent and Indonesia is an achipelago of 17,500­ islands. What a dumb condescending ignoramus, I­ suggest you by yourself a good atlas and learn where­ India and Indonesia are. Also get yourself a good­ geography book so you can learn more about the etchnic­ groups in these countries, their customs and­ traditions. I pity you; you're such a sad­ ignorant excuse for a human being.

    From Peter, on Mon 21 May 11:33
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