Sharapova in the fast lane again in Stuttgart to claim 29th career title

    Maria Sharapova poses next to the Porsche 911 Carrera which she claimed by winning the WTA tournament in Stuttgart.

    Story highlights

    • Maria Sharapova successfully defends WTA Stuttgart title
    • She beats China's Li Na in Sunday's final in straight sets
    • Sharapova is defending her French Open crown next month
    • Winner of Stuttgart tournament also lands a Porsche sports car
    Maria Sharapova won the battle of French Open champions as she claimed the Stuttgart title Sunday with a straight sets win over China's Li Na.
    Sharapova will be defending her title at the clay court grand slam in Paris next month, while Li took the French crown in 2011.
    Sharapova, who won in Stuttgart in 2012, reserved her best tennis of the week for the final as she brushed aside Li in just over 90 minutes on the indoor clay court surface.
    She had taken three sets to go through in all her three previous matches, but a 6-4 6-3 victory was reward for commanding play.
    "I knew this was going to be the toughest match of the week, so I am really pleased with the way things worked out," Sharapova told AFP.
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    "She has played good tennis all week and I am really happy to have won here again."
    Li had won their previous clash in the semifinals of the Australian Open, but she was broken twice in each set as she slipped to defeat.
    It has proved an excellent work out for Sharapova as she builds up to the French Open defense, with hard fought wins over Lucie Safarova, Ana Ivanovic and Angelique Kerber on the way to the title match.
    Last year she beat 2013 Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka in the Stuttgart final before claiming her Roland Garros triumph.
    "It definitely helped last year on the way to the French Open, it's good to bring back the same confidence on clay as last year," Sharapova added.
    As an added award for claiming her 29th WTA career title, Sharapova once again can drive away a luxury Porsche 911 Carrera, a bonus from the tournament sponsors.