Carlsbad:Maria Sharapova retained her Acura Classic title on Sunday after a three-set victory over Patty Schnyder. It was the first title in ten months for the world number two and the top seed in Carlsbad.
Schnyder had enjoyed a superb run at this year's Acura Classic. Now, only Maria Sharapova stood between herself and the trophy.
But the Russian seemed determined not to go the way of the likes of Hingis and Dementieva before her.
Crisp forehands - and backhands - immediately put the defending champion in control of Sunday's final and she went on to take the opener 6-2.
It was a very different story in the second as the Swiss eleventh seed fought back.
Looking for her first title since July 2006, Schnyder 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.
That was the first set the world number two had dropped at this year's tournament. She has been known to crumble in the face of adversity before.
But not on this occasion.
The third set was a repeat of the first as the Russian began hitting crisp winners again.
The drop shot was working too - Schnyder tried her luck with the same stroke. The outcome though was markedly different as an energetic Sharapova pounced.
Sharapova jumped out to a 4-0 lead after breaking Schnyder in the second and fourth games.
She finished off the match with a cross-court forehand winner.
"Well this is the whole lead-up to the US Open and last year I won here and went on to win the US Open. So hopefully, it is going to be the same. But I am definitely looking forward to it. I have had a great week after battling with injuries and a lot of things this year. You know, it puts a big smile on my face," said Sharapova.
And that was it, as far as Carlsbad and this event were concerned.
After 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.