Sharapova Beats Li in Rome Tennis; Djokovic-Nadal Postponed

Maria Sharapova beat Li Na in three sets in a rain-affected final of the Rome International tennis tournament today, claiming victory in a tie-break following a delay of over 2 1/2 hours. The men’s final between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal was postponed until tomorrow.

Russia’s Sharapova, the defending champion, was tied at 6-6 with China’s Li before the break for rain. The 25-year-old took the tie-break 7-5 when play resumed.

Sharapova, who collects her 26th WTA Tour title, lost the opening set 6-4 and trailed 4-0 in the second before rallying to win eight straight games.

She led 4-1 in the third set before Li recovered and had to save a match point in the final game to stop the Chinese player from claiming the title.

Li’s defeat leaves her without a title since last year’s French Open. The year’s second Grand Slam, the only one to be played on clay, starts May 27 in Paris.

World No. 1 Djokovic of Serbia will play third-ranked Nadal of Spain in the men’s final tomorrow afternoon. Djokovic is the defending champion.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Cone in London at jcone@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net.

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