Maria Sharapova claimed her second French Open title in three years thanks to a dramatic 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-4 victory over fourth seed Simona Halep of Romania.
It is also the fifth Grand Slam title of her career.
The women’s final, which lasted a shade over three hours, was a grueling affair with several changes of momentum. The fact that both women struggled to hold their service games throughout the match (there were more breaks of serves than holds) also added to the drama.
Simona Halep came into her first ever Grand Slam final without having dropped a set, but was immediately put on the backfoot thanks to Sharapova’s powerful groundstrokes (particularly the ones cross-court). The 22-year old seemed unsettled as Sharapova would claim the first set and then went up an early break in the second. But the Romanian would settle down and broke back immediately.
The second set would go into tiebreak after four straight breaks of serve (including twice with Halep serving for the set) with Halep winning the last four points after being down 5-3 to force a deciding set.
Predictably, the third set started with consecutive breaks of serve. Halep had chances to break again in the fourth game of the set but failed to capitalise. Sharapova would break Halep the following game, only to see Halep break back to make it 4-4.
In the ninth game, Sharapova broke Halep’s serve again. And she would make it count as she served for the match, falling on her knees in celebration when Halep’s backhand went wide on match-point.