Maria Sharapova claims first title for a year after seeing off Sam Stosur in Rome Masters final

Maria Sharapova secured the biggest clay-court title of her career by landing the Internazionali BNL d'Italia with a straight-sets victory over Sam Stosur.

After a three-hour delay due to rain in Rome, Sharapova proved too powerful from the back of the court as she claimed a 6-2, 6-4 win over last year's French Open finalist.

Australian Stosur's serve was broken five times in all as she fell to 0-8 in her career record against the Russian former world number one.

The march on Rome: A beaming Sharapova celebrates

The march on Rome: A beaming Sharapova celebrates

'I'm so happy to be the champion,' said Sharapova, who recorded her 23rd title.

'It means so much to me to add this title to the ones I already have. Rome is such a special place and I've dreamed of holding up this trophy.

'There are a lot of tournaments coming up, and this is a great start to everything. I can't wait to be back next year.'

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