Sharapova completes career Grand Slam
Maria Sharapova completed a career Grand Slam as she beat Sara Errani 6-3 6-3 to secure her first French Open title
The 25-year-old Russian star will become the world number one when the new rankings are published on Monday, overtaking Victoria Azarenka, and easily ended the remarkable run Errani had enjoyed at Roland Garros, where the Italian had knocked out Ana Ivanovic, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Sam Stosur.
Errani fought hard throughout but struggled to really trouble Sharapova and it was the power of the Russian that saw her through to join an elite group of only 10 women to ever achieve a career Grand Slam of Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open titles.
It was a struggle from the off for the Italian as she lost the first four games of the final in little over 10 minutes as the mis-match in size, with Errani 5ft 5in and Sharapova over 6ft, became evident as the Russian chased down everything in sight.
Errani, who had claimed the French Open women's doubles title a day earlier with Roberta Vinci, battled hard to continue putting pressure on Sharapova, but after breaking the Russian in the second set to make it 4-3 she lost her serve to give her opponent the chance to serve for the game.
Sharapova wrapped up the win, but the Italian did save two match points, and sunk to her knees to celebrate joining the likes of Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf and Serena Williams in the record books - with her fourth Grand Slam title coming eight years after her first at Wimbledon in 2004.
"It's a magnificent moment in my career. I'm really speechless. It's been such a journey to get to this stage," said the 25-year-old.
"I have so many people to thank, especially my wonderful team. But most importantly my mother and father. They're my rock, they keep me together and they've kept me going through all the tough times and the good times."