Maria Sharapova Won Her First Title
SAN DIEGO: Top seed Maria Sharapova won her first title of the year by beating Patty Schnyder 6-2, 3-6, 6-0 in the San Diego Classic final on Sunday.
The Russian used a powerful baseline attack to break the left-handed Swiss six times amid a flurry of 37 winners, but she did not have things all her own way. After Maria closed out the first set by ripping a backhand down the line, the 11th-seeded Patty Schnyder cleverly began to move the tall Russian around the court. She broke to 5-3 in the second set when Maria Sharapova missed a forehand and levelled the match with a 110-mph service winner.
Between sets, Sharapova’s coach Michael Joyce told her to stop being so tentative and she came out roaring in the third set, breaking Schnyder to 2-0 when the Swiss erred on a drop shot. “In the first set I hit some really good shots when she was serving and that opened doors for me,” Sharapova told reporters. “In the second set I lost that extra step and once you give her a little edge, she’s going to get a lot of balls back and she’s not going to waste her time. I hesitated for too many balls and I knew I had to step in and hit it again.”
Maria never looked back, breaking Schnyder to 4-0 with a blazing forehand and winning the match with another forehand winner. “Once she’s on a roll, she sticks with it and doesn’t give a chance,” Patty Schnyder said. “She puts pressure on you whenever she has break points and you have to save them. “She’s a champion and you know you have to come up with something special.”