Sharapova bounces back

August 5, 2007 07:07 PM
CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) -- Top-seeded Maria Sharapova earned her first title in 10 months with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-0 victory Sunday over Patty Schnyder in the final Acura Classic tournament.

Sharapova used sharp groundstrokes in the first and third sets to capture her first championship since winning a WTA title at Linz, Austria, in October.

The No. 2 ranked player, who was the defending champion, dropped her first set of the tournament that had a 24-year run in the San Diego-area. Promoters sold the tournament rights back to the WTA Tour, which plans to relocate the event.

Schnyder, the No. 11 seed, had no answers for Sharapova in the first set as her Russian opponent consistently hit the lines with forehands and backhands.

But the Swiss woman settled down in the second set and earned her first break of serve to take a 3-1 lead. Sharapova broke right back, but Schnyder eventually broke again for a 5-3 lead. The left-hander took the second set when Sharapova hit a forehand long.

The third set was a repeat of the first as Sharapova began hitting crisp winners again. Sharapova jumped out to a 4-0 lead after breaking Schnyder in the second and fourth games. She finished off the match with a crosscourt forehand winner.

Schnyder had little success against Sharapova's serve, going 2-for-10 in break chances. Sharapova was successful on 4-of-6 break opportunities.

Sharapova, a Wimbledon and U.S. Open singles champion, received $181,980 for her 15th tour title. Schnyder received $92,410.

The win raised Sharapova's career record to 6-1 against Schnyder with five of the matches going to three sets.

Schnyder, who beat three straight higher-ranked opponents to reach the finals, hasn't won a title since July 2006 at Stanford.