The title is Williams’ 50th of her singles career and extends her amazing run over Sharapova whom she hasn’t lost to in 12 meetings since 2004.
And Williams believes winning a title on red clay for the first time since 2002, after Madrid’s switch back to the more traditional surface after an experiment with blue clay last year, is the perfect preparation for the French Open.
“It feels good, it’s not the ultimate title but a good start in the right direction,” she told a press conference afterwards. “This court definitely plays more like Roland Garros which is a plus and great preparation.
It is the ultimate challenge, whether I reach it or not I don’t know, it was last year and I didn’t get it so I’m just getting ready for Rome and then at Roland Garros we will see what happens.”
Victory also retained Williams’ status as the World No 1 and she warned her rivals that even after 50 titles she has not tired of winning.