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Sharapova claims first crown on clay

  • Story Highlights
  • Maria Sharapova wins her first title on clay
  • She beats Dominika Cibulkova 7-6 6-3 in the Amelia Island tournament
  • It is the 19th title victory for the Russian player
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AMELIA ISLAND, Florida -- Top seed Maria Sharapova won her first claycourt title by defeating Dominika Cibulkova 7-6 6-3 in the final of the WTA Amelia Island tournament on Sunday.

Sharapova's victory earned her the 19th title of her career.

The Australian Open champion defeated Cibulkova in just under two hours for her third title of the year and 19th of her career.

It was the first championship on clay for the 20-year-old Sharapova, who had been 0-3 in previous showings.

Cibulkova put up stout opposition in the first set against an opponent who had enjoyed rest on Saturday after being given a walkover in the semifinals because Lindsay Davenport was unwell.

The 18-year-old Cibulkova only yielded the opener in the tiebreak when she dumped a forehand into the net.

The 34th-ranked Slovak was appearing in her maiden WTA Tour final and it was her first meeting with Sharapova.

Cibulkova had made an impressive run through the draw, upsetting No. 2 Anna Chakvetadze, 11th-seeded Amelie Mauresmo and No. 14 Victoria Azarenka. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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