Russian produces fight back to beat Li Na
Maria Sharapova retained her Rome International title after she produced a sterling comeback to beat Li Na in the final in Italy.The French Open champion led the match 6-4 4-0, but the Russian refused to surrender the title she won last year, coming from behind to claim a 4-6, 6-4 7-6 (7-5) victory.
Sharapova started poorly, losing an early break and quickly surrendering the first set. It was not until Na was just two games from the title that she rallied, winning eight straight games.
It looked as though she would close the match out easily after reaching 4-1 in the third set, but her errors reappeared and she dropped two service games to allow the Chinese player back into contention, and even had to save match point at 5-6.
RainThe match was then disrupted by rain in the Italian capital, with the players having to leave the court for more than two and a half hours before the decisive tiebreaker could take place.
And it was the Russian who handled the interruption the better, re-emerging to take tiebreaker 7-5 and claim the 26th trophy of her career.
"It was a crazy match," said Sharapova. "Either one of us could have own it. There really is no loser."
Both players will now head to Roland Garos for the French Open, which starts next Sunday.
Meanwhile the men's final between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal has been postponed until Monday with more rain promised for Sunday night.
Source : SkySport.com