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Maria Sharapova wins WTA tournament in Stuttgart for third year in a row
Beats Ana Ivanovic in final in three sets
Claims Porsche sports car from sponsors
Kei Nishikori wins ATP tournament in Barcelona
Maria Sharapova drove away a top of the range Porsche sports car for the third straight year in Stuttgart after battling back to beat Ana Ivanovic in the final Sunday.
Sharapova may need to build a bigger garage at home to house the prize gifts from the sponsor of the WTA Premier Tier event, but it’s a nice problem to have for the four-time grand slam champion, who is returning to her best form after recovering from a recurrent shoulder injury.
“I had quite a slow beginning to the year, but me and my team have been working hard to get in the position to win titles again, and I’m so happy to be able to do it in Stuttgart,” the Russian told the official WTA website.
But in a battle of former world number one’s, Sharapova was taken all the way by Ivanovic, who led by a set and 3-1 and looked set to take the keys of the Porsche herself.
Read: Serena beats Sharapova in Miami semi
But Sharapova reeled off 11 of the last 13 games of the match on the red clay to win 3-6 6-4 6-1 in two hours three minutes.
It was the 30th career title for the two-time defending champion and an important boost ahead of the French Open in Paris next month.
“For the first half of the match I thought it might not be my day today, but somehow I turned it around,” she added.
Serbia’s Ivanovic had underlined her improvement with a fine run to the title match, but was left to rue missed opportunities to close out the match in the second set.
“In the second set she definitely went for those big shots and she made some amazing points. She’s just a great player, and that’s what happens when you play against great players in big matches like this. You need to use your opportunities,” she said.
Read: Sharapova and boyfriend Dimitrov triumph
Sharapova, who is a brand ambassador for the sponsor, took match point with her 34th winner and was clearly delighted to continue her dominance at the German event.
“It’s been an incredible few years at this tournament,” she said.
On the ATP Tour, Japan’s Kei Nishikori wrapped up the Barcelona Open with a 6-2 6-2 win over Santiago Giraldo of Colombia in the final.
Nishikori was always on top as he won his second title of the year and fifth of his burgeoning career.
He hit 19 winners to leave Giraldo with few opportunities to show his best in a one-sided match.
The tournament was notable for the shock defeat of world number one Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals to Nicolas Almagro, who was in turn beaten by Giraldo in the last four.
Rising young star Grigor Dimitrov took the Nastase Tiriac title in Bucharest with a 7-6 6-1 win over Lukas Rool in the final.
The top-seeded Bulgarian has already won in Acupulco this season and is pushing for a place in the top 10 with his strong performances in 2014.