Monday, August 22, 2011

Sharapova Takes Cincy

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Former World No. 1 Maria Sharapova has captured the Western and Southern Financial Group Women's Open title in Cincinnati by defeating another former World No. 1 Jelena Jankovic 4-6, 7-6, 6-3 in the final.

For Sharapova, this is her second title of the year as she also won the Italian Open in Rome in early May.

The win in Cincy was definitely sweet for her considering how bitter and disappointing her Cincinnati experience was last year.

Last year in Cincy, Sharapova lost a heart-breaker in the final to Kim Clijsters, waisting 3 match points in the second set and eventually losing the match and the title 2-6, 7-6, 6-2 to Clijsters.

Although--

For a while yesterday it seemed like it was going to be deja vu all over again as she almost dropped the match to Jankovic. After losing the first set, she found herself in a tie-break situation in the second set. But she ran off 5 unanswered points in the tie-breaker to win the set and give herself some breathing room going into the third and final set. Unlike last year, this time around, the 7-6 second set score was in her favor and she was able to pull it off, winning the third set 6-3. It wasn't easy, but she got the job done.

The win gives Sharapova a big boost going into the upcoming U.S. Open where she will undoubtedly be one of the favorites to win it all. Especially after the news came out that two-time defending champion Kim Clijsters has withdrawn from the tournament because of injuries.

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So as is always the case, all eyes will be on the new World No. 4 come the U.S. Open.

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