Mon, Jun 10, 2013 - Page 20 News List

Super Serena sinks Sharapova

LONG WAIT:When Serena Williams first hoisted the Suzanne Lenglen Cup in 2002, little did the world No. 1 know she would have to wait another 11 years to do it again

Reuters, PARIS

The American simply glared, picked out her target and made the statuesque 1.88m Sharapova skid around like a giraffe on ice as she smashed the ball away to break back.

Williams left Sharapova grunting, lunging and scrambling in despair as she moved into a 4-2 lead, but the second seed refused to roll over and dragged herself level at 4-4 when her opponent sent a backhand wide.

However, there was no reprieve for the Russian as Williams kept bombarding her half of the court with relentless baseline winners.

The American broke serve for a third time with a screaming forehand winner that flew past her outstretched opponent.

After sealing the opening set in 51 minutes, it was only a matter of time before Williams moved full throttle ahead.

The world No. 1 was less than amused when she failed to convert five break points in the opening game of the second set, but at 1-1 the pressure began to mount on Sharapova, who surrendered serve with a mishit backhand into the tramlines.

The 15,000 fans packed into Court Philippe Chatrier got firmly behind the reigning champion as they lustily cheered her winners, but all the support in the world could not save her from flatlining to a 13th straight defeat against Williams.

Serving for the championship at 5-4, Serena thundered a 190kph ace, boomed down a 195kph ace and finally banged the 198kph effort that snuffed out Sharapova’s hopes.

“Getting to the Roland Garros final is not too shabby … I put up a fight today, but it was not enough,” Sharapova said.

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