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Sharapova revels in Grand Slam success
Maria Sharapova completed her career grand slam with victory in the French Open final and then declared: "This is just the start."
It was certainly a red letter day for the 25-year-old, who will climb back to number one in the world on Monday having added the Roland Garros trophy to the Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open crowns she already owns.
Her performance, where she overpowered 21st seed Sara Errani 6-3 6-2, was also a complete transformation from the player who once described her movement on clay as like a cow on ice. Sharapova said: "It's the most unique moment I've experienced in my career. I never thought I would have that."
He added: "I thought that when I won Wimbledon at 17, that would be the most treasured moment of my career. But when I fell down on my knees I realised that this was extremely special, and even more so."
The Russian's victory was all the more meaningful given the 10 months she spent out of the sport in 2008 and 2009 with a shoulder injury that put her career in jeopardy.
It has been a slow road back to the top for Sharapova but her form this year is comparable with anything before her surgery and her serve is now a strength again rather than a liability.
She said: "It's a long journey. It started from a very young age. It's not over yet. I'm not sitting here and saying I'm done, because I'm far from it.
"I have a lot more in me to achieve. I believe in my game. I think that's one of the reasons why I'm sitting here with my fourth one and winning Roland Garros, is because I always believed I could be better, I could be a better player, whether it was on clay, grass, cement, anything, I always strive to be better.
"And one per cent here, a few here, this is what I've always wanted to achieve. No matter how tough it was, no matter how many people didn't believe in me, didn't think that I could get to this point, I didn't care and I didn't listen.
"I always listened to my own voice, and it always told me that for some reason I'm meant to be better. I'm meant to succeed again. And I did."