Maria Sharapova came back from a break down three times in the third set to defeat Jelena Jankovic 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-3 on Sunday in a battle of former No. 1s for the Western & Southern Open title in Cincinnati.
Serving at 3-4 in the third, Jankovic threw in two tight double faults to give away her service, and Sharapova rode out the set for the win.
“Sometimes I would toss (the ball) and it would go too far in front or somewhere where it’s not my hitting zone,” said Jankovic of her serving difficulties during the match that contained 16 breaks of serve. “But I don’t want to make excuses. Just it wasn’t my serving day. I wish it was, because it would be a big difference.”
Sharapova one-upped her appearance in last year’s final where she lost to Kim Clijsters after holding three match points. The Russian also improved to 11-0 this year in three-set matches after outlasting Jankovic in what was the longest final on the WTA tour this year.
“I was so close last year, so it’s nice to have that feeling of being the champion after going through a tough one last year,” Sharapova said. “It wasn’t really something I thought about coming in this week. I just knew that I played some good tennis here last year, and I hoped that I could take it a step further.”
It was Sharapova’s second 2011 title and career 24th, and elevates her to the No. 4 ranking spot.
TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
Three events next week and none have title sponsors? Not a good look…Good stuff on Tennis Channel last week when on their coverage of Cincinnati they came back from commercial and commentators Lindsay Davenport and Ian Eagle, not realizing their were on air, were in mid-discussion about desserts. Also, Davenport says she is now on board with the WTA’s on-court coaching? Weak…So ESPN wastes an entire “Outside the Lines” show analyzing how they think the US Open draws are statistically ‘rigged’ so the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds on the men’s and women’s sides get easy draws? With Jermere Jenkins and Coco Vandeweghe as examples? Why would the USTA ‘rig’ the draws so that their up-and-coming players wildcarded into the tournament would play the Top 2 seeds right away? Dumbasses…Andy Roddick on receiving a point penalty in his first-round loss to Philipp Kohlschreiber at Cincy after receiving a warning for breaking a racquet: “As soon as I [hit the ball into the crowd] I wanted it back. It was a judgment call for him [the umpire]. I am pretty sure I saw an eight-year-old girl catch it on the way down. He was telling me I hit it as hard as I could. It just sucks…I can’t blame him, but I’m sitting here turning a six-week injury into a three-week injury, rehabbing eight hours a day, and a split-second decision he interjects himself and it’s done. It’s so frustrating. I certainly accept what I did. I put him in a bad situation out there. But I do think it’s stupid in tennis that I mean, in football if someone throws a helmet on the sideline, it’s their helmet. We wonder where we lose our ratings battles to the WWE, Monday Night Raw…John McEnroe, the guy is still getting endorsements because he was allowed to throw s***. I understand where [the umpire] is coming from but at a certain point, you know, you hit a tennis ball into a stadium, someone goes home with a souvenir, and it pretty much ruins the match from there. Seems counter-productive.”…American Melanie Oudin got her nose pierced…American Bethanie Mattek-Sands says she is doing six hours of rehab a day in an effort to return to play by the US Open…The headlines ask “Where Should Serena be Seeded?” for the US Open? How about wherever her ranking lets her? The US Open doesn’t need to stoop to (like Wimbledon) playing around with the seedings, especially with American players. Serena needs to suck it up and just win from whatever position she starts from…American Alex Bogomolov Jr. speaking to ESPN on his relationship with fiancee Luana Goncalves coming after his divorce from Ashley Harkleroad: “The only thing I’m mad about is that she had to sort of experience being the second one. For her I wouldn’t want that because she’s the most special one. For her to see Playboy pictures of my ex-wife, and me being mentioned, it’s just embarrassing.”…The Romanian Open in Bucharest is changing its name to the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy, in celebration of Romanian legends Ilie Nastase and Ion Tiriac…Receiving 2011 US Open main draw wildcards are former champ Lleyton Hewitt, former semifinalist Robby Ginepri, Ryan Harrison, reigning NCAA champion Steve Johnson, USTA Boys’ 18s Hardcourt winner Jack Sock, Donald Young, and France’s Julien Benneteau. Qualifying wildcards went to Americans Mitchell Frank, Bjorn Fratangelo, Marcos Giron, Bradley Klahn, Daniel Kosakowski, Denis Kudla, Tennys Sandgren and Rhyne Williams…Patrick McEnroe defending Donald Young and the American receiving ANOTHER US Open wildcard: “I think that Donald Young has a lot of potential. I think if he works even harder than he’s been working, which I think he’s done a better job of that, as we saw having a good tournament in Washington is a positive sign. He beat some quality players there. Even at 22 there is still time for him to take it to the next level physically. I think if he does that, I think he’s got a chance to be significantly higher.”…John McEnroe on Donald Young: “I go way back (with him) because my agent represented him for a while and told me I’ve got to play it with this guy because this guy’s going to be No. 1 at 10 years old. So I sort of saw this thing from afar and I watched him every year or so. And suddenly he’s 15 or so, and he’s No. 1 junior in the world. I think that him and his family just expected it was going to happen, and I think it’s been a rude awakening. I think they made a lot of choices, I would think, that they wish they hadn’t, starting way back. Even when they were young they were worried about whether or not I was going to step in and step on their toes. I think from that point on I could see that they, A, didn’t get what they should be doing, or B, I feel like they just misjudged and had it wrong. I was only trying to be helpful because of what the relationship was with my agent and his and how I had just seen a young kid. It’s too bad.”…John McEnroe on Andy Roddick’s meltdown (racquet smashing, hitting ball out of stadium) in Cincinnati: “God bless America. It still happens. It’s good to see.”…Bob Bryan’s wife Michelle is pregnant and due early next February…Rafael Nadal played his second round match on with two bandaged fingers on his right hand after burning them on a hot plate at a restaurant: “I got burned. I had a little bit of accident in a restaurant a few days ago. It was an accident. The plate was very, very hot and I got burned. If you see the blister, you can imagine [the discomfort].”
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