won her second straight Rome title on Sunday, defeating China’s Li Na
4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/5), in a match full of momentum shifts, a lengthy rain delay and noisy distractions from football fans.The world number two claimed the 26th trophy of her career, but it was a struggle for the Russian who found herself 6-4, 4-0 down before the players were forced off by rain for over two hours just as the final set tiebreak was about to commence.
“It was a crazy match,” said Sharapova. “Either one of us could have own it. There really is no loser.”
Sharapova now leads Li 7-4 in their series, with the Chinese player coming close to winning her first title since claiming her historic French Open title last June.
Sharapova added a second Rome crown to the Stuttgart claycourt title she earned in April.
The men’s final, between holder Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal – a repeat of the 2011 edition – may have to be held over to Monday with weather forecasts calling for evening rain.