Sharapova Sublime in Australian Open Title Win Over Ivanovic
by Staff | January 26th, 2008, 1:41 am
  • 20 Comments

Russian starlet Maria Sharapova earned her third career Grand Slam crown Saturday defeating Ana Ivanovic7-5, 6-3 to win the Australian Open women’s singles title in Melbourne.

“It’s amazing,” said Sharapova who struggled with injuries and serving problems last year. “You know, sometimes you just — when you’re putting the work in it just seems so, so hard, and you never know when that work’s gonna pay off. When you’re going through tough moments, you never know when you’re going to have good moments.”

In a battle of two 20-year-olds amid 90 degree heat, Sharapova dominated Ivanovic on her service games, dropping just ten points total on serve for the entire match winning 24 of her last 26 service points.

“I know I keep saying this, but I don’t think I’m at the peak of my career yet,” said Sharapova, the first Russian female to win the Australian Open. “I don’t think my body has 100% developed into its own. I’ve got many more things to learn, you know, in my tennis, and many things to build and improve.”

Both players started the match on even terms until Sharapova finally broke in the fifth game to go up 3-2. But Ivanovic fought back and got the break back after Sharapova threw in consecutive double faults to give the Serb the game and level the match at 4-4. After escaping a 4-5, 0-30 deficit, Sharapova got the second and final break of the set at 5-5 before serving out a 49-minute first set.

Ivanovic was immediately under the gun in the opening game of the second but the new World No. 2 saved two break two points. Ivanovic kept the set on serve until Sharapova broke consecutively at 3-3 and again at 5-3 to seal the match.

Sharapova finished with 16 winners and 15 unforced errors and never lost a set in the tournament while Ivanovic has 14 winners to 33 errors.

“I think she played well,” said Ivanovic. “She was a little bit nervous, I would say. She had also chances in the beginning of the first set. She was a break up, and then I broke her back. And then I still had some chances on my own, and she still fought hard and played some good tennis and managed to win that first set, and I’m sure that gave her confidence.”

Sharapova is now 3-1 in Grand Slam finals following title runs at 2004 Wimbledon and 2006 US Open. She finished runner-up to Serena Williams winning just three games against the American. A win at Roland Garros would complete the career Slam for the Maria.

Ivanovic suffered her second Slam final setback after finishing runner-up to Justine Henin at Roland Garros last year.

“It’s a little bit disappointing because I thought I had a lot of chances in that first set but didn’t use them,” said Ivanovic, who drops to 2-3 lifetime to Sharapova. “But, you know, still, it’s a learning experience for me. I fought hard, you know. I just felt a little bit let down with my forehand, made some big mistakes in crucial moments.”

En route to the final Sharapova ended tournament favorite Justine Henin’s 32-match win streak in the quarterfinals, and then she stopped Jelena Jankovic from reaching her first major final in the semis.

Defending champion Serena Williams was ousted in the quarterfinals for the fourth consecutive Slam as the 8-time Slam champion fell to Jankovic in straight sets.

Already the highest paid female athlete in the world, Sharapova will take him $1,370,000 AUS in addition to her 17th career title while Ivanovic earned $685,000 AUS.

“You know, you just have to take it one match at a time.You’ve got to believe in yourself. This was probably the toughest draw that I’ve ever had in a Grand Slam, but I’m the champion here. So if I can get a tough draw again and win it, hey, I’d do it any day,” Sharapova added.


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20 Comments for Sharapova Sublime in Australian Open Title Win Over Ivanovic

Adrienne Says:

I wonder if there are other people out there that dislikes Sharapova like myself to the extent that I don’t even watch her play. I watch tennis all the time, but when her matches are on, I shut off the TV. She is so arrogant and self absorbed to such an obvious extent, that it is no wonder she has had problems in the past being “consistent.” So I will say this: The BIGGEST reason she has been successful lately is that she is really smacking that ball. POWER and STRENGTH. She is a big,… big,… girl. Yes, maybe sleek looking, but just look at those shoulders and you will agree that she is capable of power punching big time. She has grown more and is stronger. And her height only enhances her big punch too. There are rarely any long rallies, she just whips that ball when she can. This all being said, her success mainly stems from her “physical” attributes, whether it be modeling or smacking a ball hard, that is the only reason for her success. I don’t see any God given “talent” bestowed on her.


jane Says:

Adrienne,

While Sharapova may not be the most lovable woman, it is, in part, that confidence (or arrogance, depending on how you see it) that has helped her win THREE Grand Slam championships.

With that latter stat in mind, this statement of yours “that is the only reason for her success. I don’t see any God given “talent” bestowed on her.” simply does not hold true.

Maybe you need to stick it out and watch her play – she does have power, yes, but she also has a grand serve, hits some beautiful overhead volleys, gets great angles, hits ripping returns, and if you watch the match against Henin – where she was in the zone – you’ll see some nice slices and good net play as well.

So, I’d say she has some talent. In addition, Maria has the desire to win boiling through her veins. I just knew that Maria was going to win this tournament as soon as I saw her match against Davenport – she’s a barracuda!


marre Says:

hi

i reallly appreciate the work of madam bcz she did so by her regular practice and hard work iam really impressed bythis vat she did. i think she will win next also
bye


Mitchell Says:

I can second that. I always pull for Sharapova’s opponents. She’s a good tennis player, I wouldn’t deny that. But I can’t find anything about her that makes me want to support her. I would even prefer a Williams sister to her. Also, she’ll never win the French Open.


Mitchell Says:

I also think she’s obnoxious. I’ve seen her pump her first before serving and returing serve. She just doesn’t make any damn sense.


Leo Says:

I think Sharapova rocks! Sure, the shrieks can be too much… But people had written her obituary and left her for the dead just 2-3 months ago. And here she is holding the crown.

And if she has no ‘God given’ talent, then her victories at that more admirable!! I mean here is this woman beating up all the ‘talented’ women. Good for her.


Von Says:

Sharapova/aka Shriekapova is not a naturally talented player, however, she has patterned her game on Serena Williams’ style of play, power play, that’s why she had the shoulder problem. She has also copied the Sampras serve and volley. Lansdorp coached Sampras in his younger days as well as Davenport and Sharapova. Davenport also has a power game, without the shrieking.

I can’t take her shrieks and screams. Her game is pretty much just built on her serve and getting to the service box, taking the ball on the rise and powering it out deep to execute the point without expending a lot of energy. She is able to handle this style of play because she is tall. The power is intimidating to a player who can’t match it. The Williams sisters can beat her because they have the same game.

I do not support her because she stated she wanted to beat the Americans. I think she is sick and ungrateful to this country. If it were’nt for the Americans she would still be in Siberia with not much in the luxury department.


richard symes Says:

Sharapova deserves all she has won, should have easily won last year if her shoulder had been good, goodbye williams sisters , loose some weight serena, welcome the princess of tennis, she has guts, looks and unbeleivable talent doesn;t she hennin ?


Tejuz Says:

well.. Sharapova might not be an all-round player like Justine.. but she sure is mentally tough and fights till the last point. I havent seen her giving up ever.. even when she was thrashed by Sarena last year. She is bit like Nadal as far as mental toughness goes. Previous to this year i had never seen her volley or slice backhand. I never thought she could volley this well. Anyway.. she deserved the throphy.. and Ivanovic has quite a few things to learn. Her back-hand is very weak… and also he shot selection during pressure situations.


Adrienne Says:

Von,

Right on. America has made her a very,
very rich woman. And I will still stick to my guns concerning her talent. Which is not a lot.
I still think she is a big girl, and that is a BIG reason for her success. Yes, she can do a few slices here and there, come up to the net and try it out. But bottom line, STRENGTH.

And Jane, I knew she would be Davenport. Davenport is never going to be in the big leagues anymore. And she will get frustrated just like she did before she got pregnant. I like her but don’t see her winning any majors anymore.

Wait until Sharapove gets “power pooped out” ex:Nadal. Then we’ll see her start loosing…again.


Skorocel Says:

Well, to be honest, there aren’t that many players on the WTA Tour which I HATE so much as Shriekapova (maybe Williams sisters are close to her)…

As Adrienne pointed out, her game is pure will and strength, but almost zero talent… And those stupid shrieks – that’s almost laughable! Plain stupid and childish!

Much like Nadal, Djokovic, or Hantuchova, it takes her literally zillion seconds to prepare for that serve – which is the reason why I watch her matches only from tape:-) Just plain stupid!

Surely, she deserved to win the title more than any other player out there (if for nothing, then for that trashing which she gave to Henin in the quarters), but I would rather watch Henin, who’s perhaps the only player from the whole Top 10 who knows more than to just bash the ball…

And that idiot Yuri – I just can’t stand him! I’ve heard he used to kick out the other players from the training courts, so his beautiful daughter could have had a training session whenever she wanted it… No comment!


Von Says:

Adreienne:

“America has made her a very, very rich woman.”

I agree, but she is ungrateful and low class. Did you see her father making the cut throat sign across his throat, he meant finish off Justine. The umpire gave her a warning and she has to pay $2,000 fine. That’s pocket money to her. She feels that she is hot stuff, and she’ll go on doing her nonsense because she can get away with it.

We have Americans who are suffering in this country for lack of money, and we have this piece of …. who feels that she is better than all of us. Her father came with $200 to this country and banged down Bolliteri’s door begging him to take hher in, and now she says it will give her great pleasure to beat the Americans.

She does not have any class. She walks around on the tennis court as if she owns it. She thinks class is money, limoisines and fancy clothes.

Her head is empty. She only knows two words, “you know, you know.” Whenever she is asked a question she’ll answer, well you know, and ….. you know. In her comments there are about 20 “you knows”.

I laugh when she begins to serve the way she holds the racquet crosses her eyes at her opponent and then shrieks. Her game is only power, no finesse. She gets by with what she does I think in part because of her height and her screams upset some of the players. I can’t stand her, I either turn off the game or lower the volume if she is playing against an opponent I like.


jane Says:

Skorocel

“And that idiot Yuri – I just can’t stand him! I’ve heard he used to kick out the other players from the training courts, so his beautiful daughter could have had a training session whenever she wanted it… No comment!”

I agree 100% on this one; the guy is an absolute JERK. When his daughter suffered a tough loss at the USO last year, after a tough injury-riddled year, what does her father do? Walks off the court before she’s finished, give up on her.

If Maria has no class, and I am not sure I agree with that, just as I don’t think you can call a 3 time GS Champion untalented, then her idiot father has to be partly to blame. Maria’s mother has been absent and she’s has that jerk raising and pushing her from when she was a girl – she could be a lot worse, all things considered!

I think the Williams sisters are worse overall, nasty personalities and spoilt.

Adrienne,

Yeah, I mean I didn’t expect Sharapova to lose to Davenport, but the way in which she beat her, so comprehensively, like her wiin against Henin, made me think, this girl is going to win the trophy. She’s just such a strong competitor; she does not flinch. Tejuz is right; she’s like Rafa.


Skorocel Says:

Von said:
She only knows two words, “you know, you know.”

Ha ha, that was good, but I guess you’re underestimating her:-) I would add another 2 words: “Come on!”

Really, I just hate these types! Same as Vaidisova or Williamses – stupid, arrogant, cocky, etc. etc. I guess someone once described her as “drama queen” – and I can only agree… Just see that stupid joy moments after she won the title – as if she was going to say: “Oh my god, it’s all mine, the whole world is mine! I just can’t believe this! The whole world is mine!”


jane Says:

I do, however, prefer both Serbians to Sharapova, and would like to see both Ana and Jelena hoist a trophy or two this year – maybe a G.S. one.


fcathali Says:

My God !
To von and Skorocel : You are SO ridiculous !
“She only knows two words” – Did you ever take a look at her press conferences ? Did you listen to her speech after the final ? If you did, you would have understood that she is a clever and mature young lady…
“Just see that stupid joy moments after she won the title” – How on earth did you want her to celebrate the title ? Take a glass of champagne on the court, with a discrete smile on her lips, and sign a few autographs ? When you have worked 15 years to reach you goals and spend your childhood focused on your dream, and when you achieve it, maybe you will have a better idea of the right way to celebrate victories… Poor boy… You are so modest, are you ? Well, maybe you have reasons to be so.


Von Says:

fcathali:

“Poor boy… You are so modest, are you.” Your sarcasm is not going to cut it with me.

For starters, I am a woman, in fact, I am a lady. Something dear shriekapova is not. She is classless, spoilt and loud. Ladies do not behave like shriekapova. As for modesty, I am 100 percent modest. I am thankful for every morsel I eat and for every luxury I can indulge in. I thank God everyday for the type of life that he has bestowed upon me. Yes, I am very modest. I don’t bite the hand that feeds, like the shriekapova.

Thank God America took her in, and she should be singing those praises daily, not bragging on how she is going to beat them. She’ll have a stab at them in Fed Cup, hopefully, her shoulder is working fine.

If you think she is so eloquent, just read a transcript from her interviews. It is filled with “you know” every 5-8 words. She sits and fidgets with her hair and fixing something behind her neck or scratching her back. That is class? You have got to be kidding.

Class is, you sit upright and you answer the questions proffered in a polite and intelligent manner. About 50% of the questions asked does not answer relating to the subject, that’s when the “yu know” comes in bunches,because she cannot comprehend them. Maybe someone should say to her, “I don’t know, so please explain.” I wonder what she would do then. She goes off on a tangent in a different direction.

At one conference she rambled on and on about her father being a nice guy even though he looks so serious and he has a great sense of humor. The question asked was not relevant to her father. And, after she had finished about her father, she rambled on about her mother not being at her matches because she’s too nervous, and she ended but why should she. She has her own life to live. Isn’t shriekapova an essential part of her mother’s life. Her mother must be a fall apart person that she cannot attend even one of her matches. I think the real reason is that she cannot stand the shrieking.

Excuse me, but where’s the intelligence?
With the money she has she should take some courses on how to behave in public, you know, public speaking, you know.

Did you hear her acceptance speech. It was nice that she acknowledged her mother’s birthday, but did she have to say she will use “this nice fat check to send you some roses.” I am sure she had already sent the roses to her mother, but she wanted the whole world to know that she is such a wonderful daughter and person. She also stated she had a tough draw but she’ll win again even if she does have one. Yes, shrieking her way to the last ball hit. And what’s with the clenched fist when she is walking around on the court, a very uptight person, wouldn’t you say, you know.

I have said that she wins not on her talent, because talent is innate, just like class, we either have it or we don’t. She has improvised on her game and found the answer on how to beat the present day players. Most of the women players do not have a power game. She was lucky that Davenport was not in form because she could not beat an in form Davenport. Davenport has talent, like Hingis and Stefi Graf.

Well, I haved answered all of your questions and then some. The simple fact is, you like her, I don’t and I have freedom of speech to say what I feel, you know.


Von Says:

Skorocel:

“Oh my god, it’s all mine, the whole world is mine! I just can’t believe this! The whole world is mine!”

The above brings to mind an Alka Seltzer commercial, wherein this guy is sitting down, I think he was looking at an empty pizza platter, (not 100% sure) and he had the AlkSltzer pack in his hand and he repeatedly kept saying: “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.”

That is similar to “I just can’t believe this! The whole world is mine!” I can’t believe I got the whole thing,”you know, you know.”


fcathali Says:

To Von
Thanks for this long and eloquent answer ! Sincerely, I appreciate this effort (without irony).
And i am absolutely sorry for the “poor boy” thing (i should have written “poor girl”) Nevertheless, you won’t be surprised if i tell you that i have not been convinced by your arguments. Just three exemples (amongst all the other ones) :
– “Most of the women players do not have a power game” Uh ? And S. Williams, V. Williams, Davenport, Ivanovic… Of course, you’re partly right : Miss S. has not the most clever and subtile game in the world (though i think she’s a clever girl) but unfortunately, she hasn’t got the monopoly of the lack of tactical sense in the WTA Tour. I am objective : some players like Henin, Mauresmo, Chakvetadze or Jankovic are more complete players with a more creative game. But power players are also part of the show ! And Maria (yes i call her Maria) is only 20 – she’s got time to develop her game just like Andre Agassi or Boris Becker, “two power players”, did in their careers until they became great champions with a great sense of tactic and a even more exciting game.
– the fact that her answers do not always correspond to the questions during the press conferences : well, this is one thing that many people who have to talk frequently to the medias have in common (just take a look at the politicians !). The trick is : “you’ve got your questions, i’ve got my answers”. This is just a way not to spend too much time on things you don’t want to comment. OK, in a pure and perfect world, everybody would be sincere and talk clear. But we are not in a pure and perfect world and learning how to avoid the questions you don’t like is not such an easy game. Of course, in the case of Maria, i must admit that she is helped by her look. I do confess that seeing her “fidgeting with her hair” can make a simple man forget which was the content of his original question. Men are weak, you know ? (argh i wrote “you know” !)But not so weak that they could not see the difference between a nice-looking girl with nothing to say and a nice-looking girl who can say interesting things about her feelings, her life, and the game in general. And Sharapova is in the second category.
– the story about “this nice fat check to send you some roses.” Maybe you will be surprised, but it seems to me it’s just… sense of humour, even if you’ve got the right not to appreciate it. It seems to me obvious that this sentence shouldn’t be taken serioulsy. She was rich enough to buy flowers to her mother before the check ! It is just the kind of sentence that you include in your speeches if you want to avoid saying always the same things i.e. “I am happy to have won. I hope i will do better next year” (this is humour also : I realize that you can’t do better if you have already won).
It also seems to me that she showed some “class” when she spoke in an elegant way about the death of her coach’s mother or even when she thanked the Serbian fans (i found this funny also). But of course, you will tell me that it is just hypocrisy or marketing-driven talk…
I’m not trying to convince you. As you said : “The simple fact is, you like her, I don’t and I have freedom of speech to say what I feel, you know.” Yes, I DO like her and of course I admit that someone else can have other views on Maria and on the meanings of words like “lady” or “class”.
But it just seems to me that freedom of speech includes the freedom to comment ot even to criticize the opinion of other people. If it doesn’t, what’s the point in contributing to this kind of forum ?
As you see, my answer is also quite long, just like yours. And it seems to me that this is a sign of respect.


Von Says:

fcathali:

“As you see, my answer is also quite long, just like yours. And it seems to me that this is a sign of respect.”

The points of your argument are well taken. Thanks for the respect. I don’t think you should be too eager to emulate my lengthy form of posting because there are others who frown upon my lengthy posts. However, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

In my line of work I have to write lengthy arguments and responses so that a lay person could understand and not be confused about the meaning of the context. I earnestly try to cut down on my lengthy posts, but I have to admit, I am hopeless.

It is evident, that we don’t agree on the subject of Sharapova, but perhaps we can agree to disagree in a respectul manner, you know (the “you know” here is a joke not disrespect, you know).

Top story: US Open: Roger Federer Has To Like His Draw, Djokovic And Murray Probably Won't!
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1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Simona Halep
3 Roger Federer3 Na Li
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
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6 Milos Raonic6 Maria Sharapova
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