An epic duel unfolded at the women's final of the 2014 French Open on Saturday.
2012 champion Maria Sharapova became the first Russian ever to win the same Grand Slam twice as she battled for more than three hours to defeat first-time Grand Slam finalist Simona Halep of Romania, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-4. The win is Sharapova's fifth Grand Slam title of her career.
The three-set thriller was the first women's final to go the distance since 2001.
In her third straight French Open final, the experienced Sharapova often slowed the match to suit her pace, but first-timer Grand Slam finalist Halep mounted a powerful challenge.
After falling behind with an early break, Sharapova turned around the first set with a 6-4 win, but the second set was a battle, with each women breaking the other multiple times to set up a tiebreak.
Halep evened the match with four straight points to win the tiebreak, then a back-and-forth deciding set finally tipped in Sharapova's favor with a key break in the ninth game to put her up 5-4. Despite a shaky service game throughout the match, she served out the game with conviction to seal the win.
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