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tennisbum79
Aug 22nd, 2011, 02:03 AM
Interesting self assessment.
However, each makes a compeling argument for herself


Sharapova wins women's title


MASON, Ohio -- Maria Sharapova rallied from the brink of elimination to win her first Western & Southern Open title, one year after she finished as the runner-up to Kim Clijsters at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
The Russian player denied Jelena Jankovic her first title since March of 2010 by executing a second-set comeback bid and hanging on for a 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3 victory.
Sharapova raised her arms and smiled after winning the two-hour, 49-minute W&S Open title match – the longest Women’s Tennis Association final of the year, and the 11th to go three sets.


“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.”

That she did.


Sharapova clinched her second title of the year and first since beating Samantha Stosur in Rome in May. Besides claiming a $360,000 purse and 900 ranking points, she’s expected to vault from No. 7 in the WTA rankings to No. 4 when today’s poll is released.


The last time she was fourth in the world was August of 2008.

Jankovic, the 2009 W&S Open champion, said the match could have gone either way. The Serbian player said her biggest downfalls were her inconsistent serving and double faults.


She thought the wind might have had something to do with them.

“Sometimes I would toss (the ball) and it would go too far in front or somewhere where it’s not my hitting zone,” Jankovic said. “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.”


Jankovic wasn’t the only one having serving issues. The match was dominated by 16 total service breaks that prevented either player from claiming the momentum.

“(It) felt like one of us played a few good points and than the other one and the levels were up and down throughout the match,” Sharapova said.


Sharapova, though, held serve at crucial junctures. Trailing 6-5 in the second set, she held serve to ensure the tiebreaker.

Jankovic unraveled as the tiebreaker progressed, hitting the ball into the net or blasting it wide. Sharapova seized control and won the last five points to ensure a third set.

“I think I really forced her to make those mistakes. I hit the ball deeper than I probably was,” Sharapova said.


After six consecutive breaks in the third set, Sharapova finally held serve again. She clenched her fist, threw back her head and roared.

She broke Jankovic once more for the 5-3 lead and held on for the win.


Jankovic departed with $180,000 and 620 ranking points. She said she couldn’t be disappointed with her finish, especially considering her confidence level entering the tournament.

“If somebody told me I was going to play a final here, you know, I would right away sign the paper, because I wasn’t doing well and lost in the first round in Toronto the week before and haven’t played matches since Wimbledon,” Jankovic said. “So I was kind of rusty and didn’t feel really comfortable and confident with my game.”


Sharapova hopes she can take the momentum into the US Open.

“I’m definitely proud that I’ve gone further and better than I did last year,” Sharapova said. “It means a lot to me after a disappointing loss here last year.”








Source: http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20110821/SPT/308210027/Sharapova-wins-women-s-title?odyssey=nav|head

tennisbum79
Aug 22nd, 2011, 02:18 AM
Sharapova Sinks Jankovic in Cincinnati final

(Reuters) - Russia's Maria Sharapova beat Serbia's Jelena Jankovic 4-6 7-6 6-3 to win the Cincinnati Open on Sunday and install herself as one of the favorites for the U.S. Open.

There were 16 breaks of serve in a topsy-turvy final but Sharapova emerged strongest in the end to claim her second title of the season and the 24th of her career in the lead up to the final grand slam event of the season, starting in New York on August 29.

"It was a really tough one out there. It was so physical and in the end, it could have gone either way," said Sharapova.
"We kept breaking each other in the beginning. It felt like one of us played a few good points and than the other one and the levels were up and down throughout the match.
"So, I'm just fortunate that at the end of the day I'm the winner."

Sharapova started the match brightly, serving well and looking swift on her feet as she took a 4-1 lead but then Jankovic fought back and her Russian opponent crumbled in alarming fashion.
Jankovic won the next five games to take the set as Sharapova's serve fell to pieces with five double-faults contributing to her problems.

The second set was riddled with unforced errors from both players, 27 from Sharapova and 21 from Jankovic but the Russian won the tie-break 7-3 to force the match into a third set.
The first six games of the third set were all broken before Sharapova held serve to go 4-3 up and she showed her old killer instinct to finish off the encounter.

Sharapova's other win this season came in Rome.
The former world number one did make the final at Wimbledon but lost to Czech Petra Kvitova. Sharapova was projected to rise to fourth in the world rankings on the back of her latest win.
But what matters most to her now is a shot at her first grand slam title since the Australian Open in 2008 and she said she had gained confidence for that test.

"It's great to have a win under your belt going into a major, absolutely," she said.
"I played some good matches here and it's great to have this win. I came here wanting to play matches and wanting to raise my level, and I think I did that."



Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/22/us-tennis-women-cincinnati-idUSTRE77K03Z20110822

Spring Pools
Aug 22nd, 2011, 02:48 AM
JJ should be happy with her showing (although she could have done better). She went in sucking, and she should gain a lot of confidence from this.

jimmy_the_greek
Aug 22nd, 2011, 06:12 AM
JJ would be happy with herself for making the final alone. She came close at the end, so if anything it should be a learning experience, because these two ladies will meet again. (very soon I think).

bandabou
Aug 22nd, 2011, 07:24 AM
Maria had more to lose than Jankovic..so good for her to tough out the win. Another loss in a final, against an opponent who hadn't done a thing all year, could've been disastrous.

MaBaker
Aug 22nd, 2011, 08:03 AM
JJ would be happy with herself for making the final alone. She came close at the end, so if anything it should be a learning experience, because these two ladies will meet again. (very soon I think).
http://i52.tinypic.com/nywykm.gif

Renalicious
Aug 22nd, 2011, 10:35 AM
Yes I have a feeling they will meet at the USO.

LUVMIRZA
Aug 22nd, 2011, 10:39 AM
^and JJ will prevail in that match:devil:

Joey Darling
Aug 22nd, 2011, 10:40 AM
I think that both should be pleased, yes. No, it wasn't the prettiest tennis my young eyes have even seen, but... A win is a win. There really was no loser in this result.

killerqueen
Aug 22nd, 2011, 10:41 AM
In terms of performance in the final, then no, neither should be satisfied. But in the grand scheme of things, they should both be happy with what they did this week. Maria beat tough players in every round of the competition, and did enough to win in the end. Jelena has been in an almighty slump, but managed to make the final of a P5 tournament with a tough field, and had a fighting chance all the way through the final to win.

tennisbum79
Aug 22nd, 2011, 12:57 PM
Maria had more to lose than Jankovic..so good for her to tough out the win. Another loss in a final, against an opponent who hadn't done a thing all year, could've been disastrous.
Yes, had she lost, with the way she played, against an opponent who has not done well as of late, and so close to the USO, it would have been a confidence shaking and loads of doubt about what she was doing.

Even with this win, she should still ask herself questions about her game and where she is (compared to Serena- we know where she is but players, including Serena herself, do in their mind anyway).
A loss will have raised disturbing question at the core of Maria's game: Can she still win with fighting spirit, determination and intensity even when she is not playing well?
Just posing this question has the effect of acknowledging the elephant in the room... with all its implication.

It is like asking Venus Williams if she can win on grass, or Henin if she can still win on clay, or Serena if she can still win when she goes to the final.
Asking the question is a loaded statement.


So Maria's win has helped pushed that question aside in her mind and that of tennis fans.
The bottom line is she goes to USO with more confidence now.


As for JJ, despite the loss, she has to be pleased with where she ended up, considering where she was just2 weeks ago.

goldlion
Aug 22nd, 2011, 01:46 PM
Yes, had she lost, with the way she played, against an opponent who has not done well as of late, and so close to the USO, it would have been a confidence shaking and loads of doubt about what she was doing.

Even with this win, she should still ask herself questions about her game and where she is (compared to Serena- we know where she is but players, including Serena herself, do in their mind anyway).
A loss will have raised disturbing question at the core of Maria's game: Can she still win with fighting spirit, determination and intensity even when she is not playing well?
Just posing this question has the effect of acknowledging the elephant in the room... with all its implication.

It is like asking Venus Williams if she can win on grass, or Henin if she can still win on clay, or Serena if she can still win when she goes to the final.
Asking the question is a loaded statement.


She might not play her best tennis at times, but those qualities carried her through a lot of matches this year and even tho those are ugly wins, a win is a win. Who would want to play good tennis and still be the loser of the day? Surprisingly those are the virtues that not generally owned on tour, especially within the top 10.

madlove
Aug 22nd, 2011, 01:54 PM
Jankovic needed the confidence to avoid a 1R exit in the USO.
Sharapova needed the confidence to win the USO.

tennisbum79
Aug 22nd, 2011, 01:55 PM
She might not play her best tennis at times, but those qualities carried her through a lot of matches this year and even tho those are ugly wins, a win is a win. Who would want to play good tennis and still be the loser of the day? Surprisingly those are the virtues that not generally owned on tour, especially within the top 10.
That is exactly the point I am making and more.

Because she has been losing matches lately, that perception was losing steam.
Had she lost yesterday, that perception would have been shaken to its core, because of the circumstances.
1) The opposition
2) The occasion, close to USO. These hings are amplified near a GS
3) Her own performance, not withstanding her determination and guts, was not good

bandabou
Aug 22nd, 2011, 01:58 PM
Yes, had she lost, with the way she played, against an opponent who has not done well as of late, and so close to the USO, it would have been a confidence shaking and loads of doubt about what she was doing.

Even with this win, she should still ask herself questions about her game and where she is (compared to Serena- we know where she is but players, including Serena herself, do in their mind anyway).
A loss will have raised disturbing question at the core of Maria's game: Can she still win with fighting spirit, determination and intensity even when she is not playing well?
Just posing this question has the effect of acknowledging the elephant in the room... with all its implication.

It is like asking Venus Williams if she can win on grass, or Henin if she can still win on clay, or Serena if she can still win when she goes to the final.
Asking the question is a loaded statement.


So Maria's win has helped pushed that question aside in her mind and that of tennis fans.
The bottom line is she goes to USO with more confidence now.


As for JJ, despite the loss, she has to be pleased with where she ended up, considering where she was just2 weeks ago.

Yep..and now the next question that comes up is: Can she beat a player who actually has a good serve?! All interesting things for the u.s. open.

Vincey!
Aug 22nd, 2011, 02:19 PM
Well Sharapova won the title so clearly she can be satisfied of what she has done and JJ made the final and made a tough match when she was barely winning anything so yes it's satisfying for them. I don't thin netheir of them said they were happy about the way the played in particular so the quality of their game was not really judged by them. Beside that you can see that Maria tried to talk about what she did well (hitting the ball deep etc) and JJ talked about what she did wrong (serving). I think it gives you a good head up on their personality right now. SHarapova is in a much more positive state of mind than JJ even tho she's trying to sound positive herself.

tennisbum79
Aug 22nd, 2011, 06:47 PM
I think it gives you a good head up on their personality right now. SHarapova is in a much more positive state of mind than JJ even tho she's trying to sound positive herself.
But Lady Ja Ja was not always like this. She was carefree and always saw the gals half full.

Sure she was goofy, but she was much more fun to watch

edificio
Aug 22nd, 2011, 07:56 PM
Well, I don't think they are completely satisfied with their play, but I think they can be pleased with what they accomplished in the last week. :shrug:

tennisbum79
Aug 22nd, 2011, 08:07 PM
Well, I don't think they are completely satisfied with their play, but I think they can be pleased with what they accomplished in the last week. :shrug:
I think because it is so close to the USO, it was in their interest to de-emphasize the things they need to work on.

These are competitive athletes they don't want to give the impression but they are NOT ready.


If this was 8-10 weeks before the USO, we would have heard different self-assessment.
But that is what athletes do, they always speak with the competition in mind.

GAGAlady
Aug 22nd, 2011, 09:37 PM
I think for Jelena this was the tunrning point, she faced quality opponents, in tough match situations and faced one of the biggest names in tennis and all the while she had the chances and while she didnt win she was very close. Her year has changed completely and with her ability to last in long points and onfidence only rising she should make it to the second week at the USO given her resurgance.

She said it herself, laziness was her big downfall...she got careless in her off court training and now shes fixing that. she will be fine.