Sharapova digging the dirt these days

"Well, I think you saw the level and the quality of tennis that [Halep is] able to produce and has been playing with throughout this whole tournament and this whole year," Sharapova said. "She certainly deserved to be at this stage. She pushed me to the limit today.

"She's been extremely consistent. She's going to be three in the world now. I think her results speak for themselves. There is a reason why she was out there today and had a huge chance to win."

Sharapova was the No. 7 seed here. She benefited greatly when three players in their early 20s ushered the top three seeds, Serena Williams, Li Na and Agnieszka Radwanska, from the tournament in the early going. And then Sharapova knocked out three up-and-coming players in succession: Garbine Muguruza (who beat Williams), Eugenie Bouchard and now Halep.

"I can't believe it," Sharapova said, who held the trophy like a baby and rocked gently back and forth. "I never thought seven, eight years ago I'd win Roland Garros more than any other Grand Slam. To think that I've won it two times. I'm so emotional, I can't talk right now."

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