Finally, Maria Sharapova wins a tournament

Maria

Maria Sharapova, who’s been mired in a horrific slump since returning from an injury 10 months ago, won the Toray Pan Pacific championship earlier today in Japan.

Sharapova was leading 5-2 in Saturday’s final at Ariake Colosseum when the seventh-seeded Jankovic took a timeout to have her right arm examined by the trainer.

The Serbian player returned to the court and lost the first two points of the eighth game before retiring.

“It’s disappointing,” Sharapova said. “It’s toward the end of the year and there are a lot of injuries so I wish Jelena a speedy recovery.”

It was Sharapova’s first title since Amelia Island in April, 2008, although she has spent long periods of the tour in the interim.

Even if Jelena Jankovic did have to retire in the first set, everyone on the WTA Tour is so broken down by the end of the year that nagging injuries are expected. I wasn’t able to catch this match for obvious reasons, but I would’ve liked to see how Sharapova looked coming out strong. She hasn’t been atrocious, but lately she’s tended to lose her rhythm rather quickly. With her performance today, Sharpova proved she’s down but not out. Anything is possible. Just look at Kim Clijsters, who won this past U.S. Open after taking two years off to start a family. Sharapova is only 22, so she has plenty of time to regain her authority.

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