Maria Sharapova continued her winning streak on clay by defeating Li Na 6-4 6-3 in the finals of the 2013 Porsche Open in Stuttgart, Germany. The Russian has now won 2 consecutive titles in Stuttgart and 16 consecutive matches on clay (2012 French Open and 2012 Italian Open). She has now won 29 career titles.
Sharapova improved to a 9-5 career head-to-head over the 2011 French Open champion. Li Na had an excellent win over 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova earlier in the week and has improved her consistency in general but lost some of that today while attempting to go for more power against the hard-hitting Sharapova. Stuttgart is an indoor tournament and this alleviates any weakness the Russian would have with her serving. Li Na is serving bigger than usual, but the match ended on a double fault by the Chinese player. Li Na is now 20-4 in 2013, with Sharapova at 22-3.
Sharapova is proving herself to be the player to beat on clay. Sharapova had to beat three tough players in three set matches (Lucie Safarova, Ana Ivanovic and Angelique Kerber) to win the title. It will be interesting to see how the World #1 Serena Williams responds to the challenge.