Third seed Maria Sharapova crushed fellow Russian Elena Dementieva 6-1 6-2 to win her first Pacific Life Open on Saturday.

"It feels really great," said Sharapova, who claimed her first tournament win since Birmingham last June.

"I've worked really hard the past few months to get past my injury and to really believe in myself. It's moments like these where the hard work comes into your mind."

After playing for nearly three hours to upset top seed Justine Henin-Hardenne in the semi-finals, Dementieva couldn't find the energy to run with Sharapova.

Despite the windy conditions, Sharapova did take big rips at the ball when given the right opportunities, cracking 17 winners to only eight from Dementieva.

"You can be playing great tennis the past week, you come out and no matter how good you might have been playing, the level of tennis goes down the drain simply because of the wind," Sharapova said.

Even though she ended last year ranked number four, Sharapova was frustrated by a shoulder and rib injury that didn't allow her to play her best late in tournaments.

But this year she has worked diligently on improving her upper body strength.

"It was very frustrating because tournament after a tournament my injury would bring me down again," said Sharapova, who has won 11 of the 13 finals she's contested.

Men's SFs: Federer bt Srichaphan 6-2 6-3; Blake bt Nadal 7-5 6-3.

Final: Federer bt Blake 7-5 6-3 6-0.


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