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Sharapova’s hat-trick

Stuttgart: Maria Sharapova claimed a hat-trick of Stuttgart titles on Sunday after coming from behind to win a three-set battle with Ana Ivanovic in Sunday’s final.

But Sania Mirza will have to wait for her first title of the 2014 season as she lost the summit clash with partner Cara Black. They lost 2-6, 3-6 to top seeds Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci. Sania, on the other hand, had reached the Indian Wells final last month but there also she had ended runners-up with Cara.

Nevertheless, it was good start for Sania and Cara in the clay court season ahead of the French Open, starting next month. After losing serve twice in the opening set, Sania and Cara could do little against the world’s best doubles team.

Sharapova, having won the 2012 and 2013 titles here was made to work hard for her 13th consecutive win on Stuttgart’s clay-courts before over-powering Ivanovic to claim a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory in just over two hours.

“That was a tough bit of work,” said Sharapova. “I have always believed in my chances and the fighting spirit is something that comes from within me.”

This was the first time that Sharapova claimed a third title at an individual tournament and comes on the back of last year’s shoulder injury. “This time around it’s been extremely tough, that’s why this win is so special,” admitted Sharapova.

“I will need to build a new garage to get all the cars in,” she joked as she collected her third Porsche sports car in as many years from the tournament director. It is the Russian’s first clay-court tournament in her build-up to the French Open.

(AGENCIES)