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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 September 2006, 06:05 GMT 07:05 UK
Sharapova thrilled by title win
Maria Sharapova
Sharapova earned her title with a 6-4 6-4 victory
Maria Sharapova was overwhelmed after beating Justine Henin-Hardenne in the US open final on Saturday to win the second grand slam title of her career.

The 2004 Wimbledon champion said: "I'm still pretty shocked but thrilled I got to experience another Grand Slam win and that it's a different Grand Slam.

"The vibe is a little bit different, there's definitely nothing like winning your first major.

"But to win your second, it's kind of like the cherry on the cake."

Sharapova said all the years of hard work she had put into her career flooded back to her at the moment of victory.

"The first thing that comes to mind when you go down in the ground, you think of everything you put into the moment," she said.

"Not just preparation that happened two weeks before the tournament but preparation that goes back to when I was a little girl.

I'm thrilled I got to experience another Grand Slam win and that it's a different Grand Slam

Maria Sharapova

"You can't buy a Grand Slam title. There are people around the world that have billions of dollars but no matter how much they want a US Open title, the only thing they can do is buy some good tennis rackets, the best trainers and work very hard.

"This beats any sort of money, any sort of paper."

Sharapova was however angered after the match by questions about alleged signals she was seen receiving during the match.

Television cameras appeared to show Sharapova's hitting partner holding up four fingers during the match - with the Russian responding in the same way.

She also ate a banana after her father Yuri ate one in the stands.

"I just won a Grand Slam," she said. "The last thing I'm going to talk about is some fingers or a banana."

Henin-Hardenne was in sombre mood and said: "I think second place is always the most difficult one. It's not a nice feeling.

"She played very consistent, served better than she probably did in our last meetings and took her chances. I mean she had very good shots and played a lot down the line.

"She was in good shape tonight. It was tough for me."

Henin, playing in her fourth Grand Slam final of the year, added: "It's been a great season for me and it's not over yet. I could not have expected these results.

"I've been pretty consistent during the whole year. The thing is that I'm still healthy and I hope I can play a few more tournaments and then the WTA Tour Championship. That remains one goal of the season."

SEE ALSO
Gamewatch: Sharapova v Henin
10 Sep 06 |  Tennis


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