Maria Sharapova claimed the third Grand Slam title of her career, winning the Australian Open in straight sets to Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic. Ivanovic took the lead in the first set 5-4, but a wrongly chosen drop shop fell short of the net when within two points of winning the set and Ivanovic’s best chance of the game vanished.
Sharapova controlled the match thereafter, taking the first set 7-5 and in complete control of the second, winning 6-3. The game was littered with unforced errors, a shaky Ivanovic conceding 33 to Sharapova’s 15. But Sharapova was a worthy winner, not dropping a set throughout the tournament, dismissing three of the top four ranked players on her way to the final, and the confidence boost she so badly needed after an injury plagued 2007.
The tournament threw up a mix of unpredictable results with last year’s winner Serena Williams falling short of the semi-finals with a 3-6, 4-6 defeat to Jelena Jankovic.
Justine Henin’s 32 match unbeaten run also came to an end when she was overwhelmed and well-beaten by an incredibly strong performance by the tournaments eventual winner. New mum Lindsey Davenport drew the short straw having to face Sharapova in the third round, and she too was blown away by the Russian’s power and consistency, comfortably beaten 1-6, 3-6.
Written by: Harriet Edkins
The Women’s Sports Magazine