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Sharapova surges to first Australian Open title
January 26, 2008 10:05 IST
Last Updated: January 26, 2008 11:10 IST
Fifth seed Maria Sharapova [Images] sealed her third grand slam title and first Australian Open with a comfortable 7-5 6-3 victory over Serbia's Ana Ivanovic in the final on Saturday.
Sharapova, aside from a few nerves in the first set when she allowed a two-game advantage to slip, overpowered her fourth-seeded opponent with a tremendous service game.
The 20-year-old Russian, who won Wimbledon in 2004 and the 2006 U.S. Open, won more than 90 percent of her first service points and had five games in the match when she did not concede a single point on her serve. Ivanovic, appearing in her second grand slam final, found herself under pressure on her serve with Sharapova often establishing mini-breaks before she was able to fight back.
The Russian squandered her good work, however, and allowed Ivanovic to level before she broke a second time and took the first set 7-5.
The second set went with serve until Sharapova broke Ivanovic in the seventh game to establish a 4-3 lead and she broke again in the final game of the match to clinch victory in one hour 31 minutes.
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Ed Osmond)