Paris: World No.1 Maria Sharapova believes that winning the French Open is testament to her own strength of character.
By defeating Sara Errani 6-3, 6-2 in the final, the Russian became only the 10th female tennis player to complete a career Grand Slam of wins at all four of the top events.
By reaching the final, Sharapova regained the World No.1 spot from Victoria Azarenka for the first time since a long injury layoff in 2008 and 2009 saw her drop out of the top 100.
"I proved that no matter how many punches I took in my career, I've always gotten back up. I never made excuses," she said Saturday. "I have a tremendous amount of belief and pride in what I do."
This self-sufficient attitude was all she needed to inspire her at her lowest points, she said.
"I always listened to my own voice, and it always told me that for some reason I'm meant to be better."
Sharapova burst onto the scene when she won Wimbledon in 2004 at the age of 17, following it up with the 2006 US Open and 2008 Australian Open titles.
Completing the set at the French Open feels even better than beating Serena Williams in the 2004 Wimbledon final, she said.
"When I won Wimbledon at 17, I thought that would be the most treasured moment of my career."
"But when I fell down on my knees today I realized that this was extremely special, and even more so."
The Russian will take home $1.25 million for her win at Roland Garros, while Errani earned half as runner-up. (IANS)