Back in what people consider her "great" days--when she was blowing opponents off of hard courts without dropping a set--Maria Sharapova was not expected to win red clay titles. During the past couple of seasons, after she went through botched diagnosis, rotator cuff surgery, and two rehabs--Sharapova was described as "finished," "under-confident" and "will never be the same again." She did struggle mightily, especially with her service game, but today, we got "old" Sharapova with a twist: She won a premier red clay tournament in Rome. The 7th seed and three-time major champion defeated 6th seed Stosur 6-2, 6-4 after the players waited three hours to play because of a rain delay.
To get to the final, Sharapova had to beat world number 1 Caroline Wozniacki, and to get the title, she had to beat 2010 French Open runner-up Sam Stosur. She beat them both in straight sets, and will be number 7 in the world when the rankings are published tomorrow. Sharapova is now 8-0 against Stosur.
Peng Shuai and Zheng Jie won the doubles title, upsettingh 3rd seeds Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova 6-2, 6-3.