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Stuttgart. Successful French Open dress rehearsal for Maria Sharapova: One week before the year’s second Grand Slam in Paris, the Porsche Brand Ambassador won the 35th WTA title of her career in Rome. In the final on Sunday, she defeated Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 to celebrate her third success in the Italian capital after 2011 and 2012. The only other tournament that the superstar from Russia has been able to capture three times is the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. She was victorious at the long-standing Stuttgart event in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The win in Rome has returned Maria Sharapova to No. 2 in the WTA world rankings.

One week before the start of the French Open, where she will looking to retain her title and where she will be seeded No. 2 after her success in Rome, Maria Sharapova appears to be in excellent form. Against Carla Suarez Navarro, a clay court specialist, she initially went a set down but was soon 3-1 up in the second. Though the Spaniard countered to level at 3-3 and 5-5, Maria Sharapova then stepped up a gear to secure the set with an impressive battling performance. In what was for long periods a high class final, she then raced through the third set to clinch her second WTA title of the year – the first came in Brisbane – after a match that lasted two hours 35 minutes.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to win this tournament for a third time,” said Maria Sharapova after her 11th career clay court title. “The week was a great warm up for the French Open. Now I’m looking forward to Roland Garros.“

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