Ball of Timelessness

PARIS —

The picture she posed for at the beginning foreshadowed a mismatch in the making: the 188-centimetre Maria Sharapova standing at the net, towering over an opponent 25 centimetres smaller than her.

The pictures snapped at the end told a different story: Sharapova, down on her knees after a tougher-than-expected win, head buried in her hands, celebrating after completing a comeback three years in the making and cementing her name among the greatest in tennis.

The Russian star won the French Open on Saturday, defeating her tiny Italian opponent, Sara Errani, 6-3, 6-2 in the final at Roland Garros to complete the career Grand Slam.

Sharapova won the trophy at Roland Garros about three years after dropping as low as 126th in the rankings after shoulder surgery that threatened her career. She rededicated herself to the game and made a special effort to improve on red clay, the surface…

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