This day in sports: Serena Williams wins her 50th title by beating Maria Sharapova

Serena Williams poses with a trophy after beating Maria Sharapova in the Madrid Open final May 12, 2013.
Serena Williams kept her No. 1 ranking by defeating Maria Sharapova in the Madrid Open final May 12, 2013.
(Emilio Naranjo / European Press Agency)

Serena Williams was in top form on the tennis court and also in the numbers game on this date in 2013 when she defeated Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-4 in the final of the Madrid Open to keep her No. 1 ranking and collect her 50th career title.

If Sharapova had won, she would have taken over the No. 1 spot, but Williams stormed ahead early when the Russian star struggled with her serve, and then held form through the second set.

“It feels good,” Williams said about winning her 50th title. “Hopefully I can keep it going.”

She improved her record against Sharapova to 13-2, with her only losses coming in 2004.


The Dodgers would have started a six-game trip Tuesday, beginning with the first of three games in Philadelphia against the Phillies. The Angels were scheduled to play the second of three games against the Washington Nationals at Angel Stadium. Both contests were postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here is a look at other memorable games and outstanding sports performances on this date:

Major League Baseball owners have given the go-ahead on a proposal to the players’ union that could lead to the coronavirus-delayed season starting in July.

1909 — The Preakness Stakes is held in Maryland after 15 runnings at Gravesend Race Track in New York. As part of the celebration, the colors of Effendi, the race’s winner, are painted onto the ornamental weather vane at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore for the first time.

1955 — Sam “Toothpick” Jones of the Chicago Cubs is the first African American and former Negro League pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the major leagues, and he does it the hard way. In the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates, he walks the bases loaded and then proceeds to strike out the side to preserve a 4-0 victory at Wrigley Field.

1970Ernie Banks, 39, swats an inside pitch from Atlanta Braves hurler Pat Jarvis into the left-field bleachers at Wrigley Field for his 500th career home run, and the Cubs go on to win 4-3. Banks is the ninth player to reach 500 home runs, and he would retire after the 1971 season with 512.

2000 — Pedro Martinez, who had 17 strikeouts in his previous start May 6 against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, strikes out 15 more in the Boston Red Sox’s 9-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles. Martinez ties an American League record set in 1968 by Cleveland’s Luis Tiant for most strikeouts over two games.

2006 — Laure Manaudou of France breaks Janet Evans’ 18-year-old world record in the 400-meter freestyle, finishing in 4 minutes 3.03 seconds at the French national swimming championships in Tours. Manaudou beats the time of 4:03.85 set by Evans when she won the 400-meter free at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul.


Dr. Anthony Fauci thinks the ability to test for the coronavirus will improve by the fall so the NFL could hold its season, even amid another outbreak.

2006 — Justin Gatlin breaks the 100-meter world record with a time of 9.76 seconds at a meet in Doha, Qatar. A week later, the International Assn. of Athletics Federations announces a timing error by meet officials that gave Gatlin the record. His time of 9.766 seconds should have been manually rounded off to 9.77, putting him in a tie with Asafa Powell’s world mark of 9.77.

2010 — Fans celebrate in the streets when Montreal follows a monumental upset in the Stanley Cup playoffs with another. The Canadiens, who eliminated the Washington Capitals, beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Montreal accomplishes what no team had done since the current playoffs format had been adopted in 1994: beating the Presidents’ Trophy winner (team with most points in regular season) and the defending Stanley Cup champion in successive rounds as a No. 8 seed.

2014LeBron James ties his playoff career high with 49 points, Chris Bosh makes the tiebreaking three-point jumper with 57 seconds left, and the Miami Heat beat the Brooklyn Nets 102-96 to take a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals. James misses a foul shot with one second left that would have given him 50 points.


Sources: The Times, Associated Press