Maria sharapova gets crown
by Manish Kumar Joshi

Maria Sharapova wore the crown at Melbourne after beating Ivanovic in the final of the first Grand Slam of the year and added one more title to her collection. She was very much at ease on the new surface of the Flinders Park court. It seemed that Sharapova was on a mission from the moment she began her campaign. It was Sharapova’s first Australian Open title and her third in Grand Slam events. She won Wimbledon as a 17-year old in 2004 and added the U.S. Open to her collection two years later.

Sharapova was confident against Ivanovic, who was playing in her second Slam final after last year’s French Open. The only time she lost her way was in the eighth game of the first set. She sent down three double faults, two of them in a row, to hand back the break she got earlier.

In the second set Sharapova upped the ante in her service games — she lost just two points on serve in the whole set — and Ivanovic was clearly outplayed. Serving to stay in the match in the ninth game, the Serb double faulted to 0-30 and the Russian hit a forehand pass to earn herself three championship points. Sharapova failed to convert the first two but when Ivanovic’s forehand flew wide, it was all over and Sharapova clinched her first Australia Open title.

Sharapova is basically an offensive baseliner. She is noted for having an excellent double-handed backhand and excellent serves, particularly for the power and placement of these shots. Sharapova has decent agility on-court. Being an offensive player, Sharapova is usually able to overpower her opponents or keep them on the run with sharp angles from the baseline. Because of this agressive play, she excels on the fast-playing grass and hard courts, but is not as dangerous on clay.

Chennai open
Location Chennai, India
Venue SDAT Tennis Stadium
Category International Series
Surface Hard / Outdoors
Draw 32S/32Q/16D
Prize Money $436,000