Maria Sharapova won her fifth Grand Slam title this year, beating Simona Halep in three sets in the French Open final at Roland Garros. In a match lasting three hours, it was the first time since 2001 that a third set was contested, and it was described as one of the best women’s finals in recent years.
By winning the 2012 French open she became only the sixth woman in the Open Era to complete the Career Grand Slam in singles. Maria also won the silver medal at the London Olympics in the same year.
She won Wimbledon as a 17 year old in 2004, the US Open in 2006 and the Australian Open in 2008. Maria has been forced out of the game twice due to shoulder injuries. Between late 2008 until May 2009 she did not play, but came back to win the French Open in 2012. After her second layoff in mid 2013 she once again rebounded to win the 2014 French Open. She was also runner up in the intervening year.
Maria’s game is based on power so her preferred surfaces early in her career were the fast playing hard and grass courts. Initially the slower clay courts such as Roland Garrros did not suit her. She once described her self as a “cow on ice” on the ‘red dirt’ due to her ability to slide. Since her injury it’s now her best surface, winning 9 out of her last 11 titles on it.