10/03/09 – Bordentown, NJ – When the new WTA tour rankings are released on Monday, a familiar name will once again be in the top 20. After being sidelined by shoulder surgery for nine months, Maria Sharapova made her return to tournament tennis in May with her new Prince O3 Speedport Black racquet in hand. Since then, she has made a steady climb back up the rankings and has now captured her first tour title since the comeback.
Sharapova reeled off five consecutive games to reach a 5-2 lead over current world #8 Jelena Jankovic, before Jankovic retired the match due to injury, to win the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.
“We want to congratulate Maria on her title in Tokyo and all she has already accomplished during her comeback,” said Linda Glassel, VP of Marketing at Prince. “Getting over shoulder surgery is no small feat, for any athlete, and we are proud to continue to work and supply Maria with the most technically advanced product to not only help her get her back to #1 in the world, but raise her game to new heights.”
“It’s great to have that adrenaline again. It’s funny to win trophies again after thinking I might never be able to hit a tennis ball again,” said the three-time Grand Slam champion, Sharapova. “But I’m back and I’m hungry. I can be better than before and win more Grand Slams.”
The win marks Sharapova’s 20th career title and first since Amelia Island in April of 2008. It was Sharapova’s second final in her last three tournament appearances.
Sharapova is one of more than 20 ATP and WTA touring pros currently using the Prince O3 Speedport Black. Prince’s performance racquet line features racquets with the Company’s ground-breaking O-technology – easily identifiable by the large, visible ports along the racquet frame.
For more information about the O3 Speedport Black, other models in Prince’s performance racquet line or any other categories, visit www.princetennis.com