June 7th, 2008
The women's clay court season for 2008 came to an end today with the Finals of Roland Garros. Number 2 seed, Ana Ivanovic was playing in her second straight Grand Slam final and second consecutive Roland Garros final(she lost to Henin last year.) She would be up against the number 13 seed, Dinara Safina. The number 13 which had been lucky for her all tournament long, ran out during the finals with Ivanovic playing some of her best tennis to claim the victory.
It was the most competetive Roland Garros final since 2006, when Henin defeated Kuznetsova. Ivanovic unlike last year was more steady and focused. She wasn't nervous like she had been in previous slam finals. Safina on the other hand showed her nerves through her shaky and sometimes weak serves, which Ivanovic took full advantage of. Safina had her chances, coming back from 4-1 down in the first set, to tie it at 4-4, only to be broken and lose the first set, 6-4.
The second set was much of the same, with Ivanovic going up and early break to lead 3-1, and never really looking back. Using her powerful strokes and her good serve, the young Serbian coasted her way to her first Grand Slam title. Justine Henin, a four time winner at Roland Garros was there to present the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen to Ivanovic. For Safina, she can be satisfied with the fact that she had reached her first Grand Slam final and can hope she can continue carrying this form into the rest of the season.
For Ivanovic this opens up many new doors. Now a Grand Slam champion, Serbia's first slam champion, Ivanovic will be looked upon as the heavy favorite at many slams and tournaments. She is also the new world number 1 player. In 2 weeks when Wimbledon begins, all eyes will be on her, to see how well she can do. Last year she made it all the way to the Semi-Finals before losing to eventual champion, Venus Williams.
The WTA Tour now leaves Paris and the second slam of the year and focuses on the grass season ahead, with stops in Birmingham and still a clay tournament in Barcelona.
(2)Ana Ivanovic d. (13)Dinara Safina - 6-4, 6-3
Top 10 Seeds:
1. Maria Sharapova - Lost in Round of 16 (Safina)
2. Ana Ivanovic - CHAMPION
3. Jelena Jankovic - Lost in Semi-Finals (Ivanovic)
4. Svetlana Kuznetsova - Lost in Semi-Finals (Safina)
5. Serena Williams - Lost in Round 3 (Srebotnik)
6. Anna Chakvetadze - Lost in Round 2 (Kanepi)
7. Elena Dementieva - Lost in Quarter-Finals (Safina)
8. Venus Williams - Lost in Round 3 (Pennetta)
9. Marion Bartoli - Lost in Round 1 (Dellacqua)
10. Patty Schnyder - Lost in Quarter-Finals (Ivanovic)
Other Finalist - 13. Dinara Safina - Lost in Finals (Ivanovic)