(May 11, 2014) Last year’s Madrid Open bridesmaid is this year’s bride as last year’s losing finalist Maria Sharapova rebounded from being dominated in the first set 6-1 to claim her first Madrid Open title over Simona Halep, 1-6, 6-2, 6-3.
“What a week,” Sharapova said emphatically. “Last year I lost in the finals and I really wanted to go one extra step this year, and it’s just been such a fantastic week. Simona and I had played a couple of times before, but she’s really on a different level now. I don’t know how I pulled it off. In the first set I wasn’t doing much to hurt her, and that’s the tennis she’s capable of playing – I knew I had to do some different things after the first set to win this match.”
“I don’t have regrets because it was an amazing week for me and it was my biggest final,” said the Romanian Halep. “But I’m really happy that I could play the final here in Madrid. I played really well all week and I beat top players and I played a very high level of tennis. Maria is a great player and a great champion. She played really well, and I think she deserved to win this title. ”
“I don’t take any finals for granted, and every tournament means a lot to me,” Sharapova continued. “I came close last year, and I didn’t have a great first set today, but I knew it wasn’t over until the last point was played.”
For No. 9 Sharapova the victory marks her 31st WTA title of her career. It extends her current won streak on a lay court to 11. She also captured a tournament in Stuttgart this year.
She has now won 46 of her last 49 matches on clay, with all three of the losses coming to No. 1 Serena Williams.
The 27-year-old Russian will see her ranking rise to No. 7 and Halep will remain at No. 5. Next stop for both women on the tour will be Rome which began on Sunday.