Although Maria Sharapova always hoped to win a fifth Grand Slam title, but she never expected that she would win more titles at Roland Garros than any other Slam.
After spending the second half of the 2013 season sidelined to deal with a shoulder injury, Sharapova gradually worked her way back into contention this season. While her hard court season was relatively weak, Sharapova stormed back into form as soon as the clay court portion of the season began. She culminated that period with a second French Open title, after defeating Simona Halep in a thrilling three-set battle.
“This was the toughest Grand Slam final I’ve ever played,” Sharapova said in her on-court interview afterwards. “All the respect to Simona. I thought she just played an unbelievable match today.
“I can’t believe it. I never thought seven or eight years ago that I’d win more Roland Garroses when I was 27 years old than any other Grand Slam. It’s a dream come true. This tournament means so much to me. And to think I’ve won it two times now – I’m so emotional, I can’t even talk right now!”
Following her fantastic win, Sharapova explained in the post-match press conference that she was never a natural competitor on clay, but had to work to improve herself on that particular surface.
“I didn’t grow up on clay; didn’t play on it,” she said. “I just took it upon myself to make myself better on it. “There is no one else that was going to do that for me. I had to do the work and I worked to get to this position.”
“You can’t go out there and just do it without putting in the effort, putting in the work,” she added. “You’re not just born being a natural clay court player. OK, maybe if you’re Rafael Nadal, but certainly not me.”
Now, at 27 years of age, Sharapova is more proud than ever with her achievements.
“It’s really amazing. There is no substitute to these titles.”