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Maria Sharapova: 2012 Rome Champion!

Posted on May 20, 2012

Maria has successfully defended her Rome title as she defeated No.8 seed Li Na of China 4-6 6-4 7-6 in a match time of 2 hours and 52 minutes.  It was a match of many twists and turns and rain delays as Maria took her 26th career singles title.

This is the fourth time that Maria has successfully defended a title, the other times are:
Tokyo: 2003 and 2004
Birmingham: 2004 and 2005
San Diego: 2006 and 2007

Maria got an early break in the first set to lead 2-1 but Na immediately got the break back to level the set 2-2.  Na wins four of the next six games to take the set 6-4.

Some spots of rain appear at the beginning of the second set as Maria came from 4-0 down to take six straight games to take the set 6-4.  In the final game of the set Maria won her serve to 15 when Na hits a forehand long.

In the third set Maria broke Na's serve in the first and fifth game as she took a 4-1 lead.  Na then took the next three games to level the set 4-4 as the rain started to come down a little harder.  Both players held their serves in the next two games.  At 5-5 30-30 play is suspended for a couple of minutes due to the rain, they come back on court and Na holds serve.  In the next game, Maria holds her serve in dramatic fashion saving a matchpoint to force a tie-break.  Play is suspended again after this game due to the rain coming down heavily.  After a break of over two hours both players came back to play the tie-break which Maria won 7-5 when Na hit a backhand wide.

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