Tennis: Sharapova wins 22nd career title in Strasbourg
STRASBOURG, France — Maria Sharapova won her 22nd career title after a two-month layoff with a right elbow injury, defeating Kristina Barrois 7-5, 6-1 Saturday in the Strasbourg International final.
The title was only Sharapova's second on clay and a boost on the eve of the French Open, where she's reached one semifinal and three quarterfinals.
Sharapova lost her first match in two months last week in Madrid, then accepted a late wild card to be the top seed in Strasbourg, where she rolled all the way to her second title of the season.
The 13th-ranked Sharapova trailed 5-3 in the first set, then adjusted after a chat with her coach Michael Joyce during a changeover and won seven straight games.
Sharapova broke the German, a first-time finalist, twice more in the second set and closed it with a backhand winner.
Sharapova had shoulder surgery in October 2008 and dropped outside the top 10 for the first time in five years. She dropped as far as No. 126 before rebounding to close last year at No. 14.