Women's Match of Decade No. 5: Sharapova d. Halep, 2014 Roland Garros

Women's Match of Decade No. 5: Sharapova d. Halep, 2014 Roland Garros

After a 6–4, 6–7 (5), 6–4 grind-down of the Romanian, the Russian captured her fifth Grand Slam title.

Over the next two weeks, we're looking back at 10 years’ worth of memorable marathons and top-shelf tennis from the WTA’s boldest and bravest.​

See the entire women's and men's lists here, and relive each match with our video retrospectives.

The decade’s grittiest win? It’s hard to top Sharapova’s three-set, three-hour, final-round grind-down of Halep in the 2014 final in Paris.

The match was played on slow clay, on a humid day. For Halep, it was a chance to win her first major. For Sharapova, it was a chance at her fifth, and second on a surface once considered her weakest. Neither woman gave an inch. 

The 6’2” Russian powered her shots toward the sidelines. The 5’6” Romanian motored after them, and changed the ball’s direction at every opportunity. In the first set, the question was whether Halep could stand up to Sharapova. In the second set, it was whether Sharapova could finish off Halep. In the third, with Halep at top speed and Sharapova at top shriek, the two women sprinted down the homestretch together. In the end, Sharapova out-kicked Halep, breaking her at 4-4 and holding for the title.

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“It was the toughest Grand Slam final I’ve ever played,” Sharapova said. 

“If someone had told me, at some stage in my career, that I’d have more Roland Garros titles than any other Grand Slam, I’d probably go get drunk. Or tell them to get drunk.”

Either way, she earned it.