Fighting Sharapova overcomes Simona Halep in Madrid final

Madrid (Spain), May 12: Russia’s Maria Sharapova recovered from a nervous start to beat Romanian fourth seed Simona Halep and win her first Madrid Open title on Sunday.

The former world number one won 1-6 6-2 6-3 and extend her unbeaten run on clay to 11 matches, reports the BBC.

Eighth seed Sharapova, 27, has only lost three times on clay since 2011 – all three defeats coming against world number one Serena Williams. Sharapova has now won nine titles on the surface, putting her level with Venus Williams as the third most successful active player on clay, one behind Anabel Medina Garrigues and Serena Williams with 10 titles each.

Halep, 22, was playing in her first WTA premier final, and has risen from outside the world’s top 50 to number five in the rankings, winning seven titles in the last year.

Sharapova said that she was happy with the work put in to win the title, and said she never took such opportunities to be in the final for granted. She said that it was an honour to win. (ANI)