29 Apr 2013

Sharapova brushes off Li to win Stuttgart

6:02 am on 29 April 2013

The Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova has defended her Stuttgart WTA title, beating China's Li Na 6-4 6-3 in just over 90 minutes to get her clay-court season off to a winning start.

The defending French Open champion and world number two saved her best tennis until last, having been taken to three sets in all of her previous three matches in Stuttgart en route to the final.

After seeing off Victoria Azarenka in last year's final, Sharapova then went on to win her fourth grand slam title at Roland Garros and she says it definitely helped last year on the way to the French Open, so it's good to bring back the same confidence on clay as last year.