Maria Sharapova, of Russia, returns the ball to Carla Suarez Navarro, of Spain, during the final match of the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Sunday, May 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Alessandra Tarantino
May 17, 2015

ROME (AP) Maria Sharapova rallied to beat 10th-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 Sunday and win her third Italian Open title.

The victory gives Sharapova confidence on clay as she prepares to defend her title at Roland Garros, which starts next weekend.

With the temperature soaring above 30 Celsius (about 90 Fahrenheit) at the Foro Italico, Sharapova struggled for long stretches to figure out Suarez Navarro's spins, slices and heavy topspin shots.

But once Sharapova started stepping into the court, attacking the Spaniard's serve and finding the corners, she took control.

Sharapova's first two titles in Rome came back-to-back in 2011 and 2012.

Later, Roger Federer was facing Novak Djokovic in the men's final.

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